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Easy Ways to Eat Five a Day

By: Cara Frost-Sharratt - Updated: 29 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Easy Ways To Eat Five A Day

Unless you never pick up a paper turn on the television or go to a supermarket, you’ll know that you should be eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Whilst this may sound like a lot, there are plenty of easy ways to up your intake and you won’t have to spend every spare minute munching on apples and celery sticks in order to achieve it.

Healthy Balance

A busy schedule and a limited food budget mean that you might not be able to eat quite as well as you (or your parents) would like, while you’re away at university. However, with just a little planning and imagination you should be able to easily pack away your five a day. Apart from the obvious fruit snacks, there are plenty of ingenious ways to squeeze in another couple of sneaky portions to your diet.

Living closely with lots of other people (as you invariably will if you’re in a shared house or hall of residence) means that you’re more susceptible to colds and bugs and you should be even more aware of keeping your immune system in tip-top condition. Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day will help your body fight infection and will keep the brain in good working order too, as all those fantastic vitamins and minerals zip around doing their job.

What’s a Portion?

This comes down to common sense really and it depends on the size of the fruit or vegetables. For example, a piece of large fruit such as an apple or banana is one portion, whereas smaller fruit like plums will take about three to get one portion. For berries and other smaller fruit, work on the assumption that a portion is about one large handful. The same principle applies to veg but as you’ll usually be eating this when it’s chopped up and cooked, think of it in terms of an average serving with a main meal.

Quick Ways to Five a Day

Here are some tips on how to get your daily quota without too much preparation:

A glass of fruit juice counts as one serving. However, as the juice doesn’t contain the pulp of the actual fruit, you can only count this once, no matter how many glasses of juice you consume. Drink orange juice with breakfast and you’re one-up already.

Fruit with Cereal
If you have a bowl of cereal for breakfast, add a chopped banana or some strawberries for a fruity twist – there’s another one…

Sip on Soup
Here’s a healthy and cheap option for lunch. Make a big pot of homemade vegetable soup at the beginning of the week. Keep it in the fridge and dip in for lunch every day. Pack it full of any veggies you’ve got in the kitchen, as well as pulses and beans.

Cans Count
Canned vegetables count as a portion so dig out that sweetcorn, add some chickpeas or kidney beans to a salad, or throw a handful of diced carrots into a casserole. Frozen veg is also acceptable so there’s no excuse if there’s nothing fresh in the fridge.

Fruit Snacks
Carry a couple of pieces of fruit in your bag for a snack during the day. Use it as an excuse to try fruit you wouldn’t normally choose.

Salad Starter
Get into the habit of making yourself a side salad to eat with dinner. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just some leaves and sliced tomato.

Stick to these tips and you should have no problem getting your five a day. Hopefully you’ll feel the benefits, especially through the winter months when everyone around you will be coughing and sneezing.

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