Friday, November 19, 2010

How Can I Eat All That? Easy Ways to Include More Fruit and Vegetables in Your Diet

Here is how you can easily eat the right amount of fruit and vegetables every day:

First, the fruit. Ideally, you should have two to four serves of fruit every day, preferably fresh raw fruit rather than tinned, dried or processed. 'One serve' of fruit is:

- one piece of whole fruit, like one whole apple, banana or peach. Or
- one large wedge of fruit, like a large wedge of watermelon or rockmelon. Or
- ¾ cup of fresh fruit juice. Or
- ¼ cup of dried fruit.

You can use any combination to add up to the right number of serves. However its better to choose fresh raw fruit more often as its higher in fibre and more filling. Avoid dried fruit as a fruit serve as it is very high in natural sugar.

Here are some ideas to help add plenty of fruit into your diet:

- Top your breakfast porridge with a banana
- Enjoy a piece of fruit for morning or afternoon tea
- Make up a colourful fresh fruit salad for dessert

Now, the vegetables. You need five serves every day, at least two of these serves as green vegetables, and at least one of your serves should be an orange vegetable. "One Serving" size is ½ cup chopped vegetables, or one cup of leafy vegetables.

Here are some ideas to help you fit plenty of vegetables into your day:

- Enjoy your breakfast egg on a bed of wilted spinach rather than toast
- Plan to make a large raw salad one of your main meals. Add some protein for a complete meal.
- Instead of a pie and chips for lunch, order a salad sandwich from the local takeaway.
- Make up a delicious vegetable soup for your evening meal.
- Enjoying some evening drinks and dips? Make up a platter of carrot and celery sticks, and use these for the dips rather than biscuits.

The easy way to fit all this food into your day is to focus your menu fruit and veg first, then look for other foods to go with it. Here is a sample diet for a day:

Breakfast: Poached egg and baked beans with wilted spinach, or porridge topped with a banana.

Morning tea: Fresh apple or orange with a handful of nuts

Lunch: Salad sandwich with chicken. Fresh fruit to follow.

Afternoon tea: Hummus or beetroot dip with carrot and celery sticks

Dinner: Poached salmon with steamed potato, pumpkin, and broccoli. A colourful fruit salad for dessert.

There, easy isn't it! Happy eating!

Olwen Anderson is an accredited naturopath based on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia. Visit her web site for free health information, subscribe to her monthly Health e-News for up to date natural health information; and read more articles that can help you take control of your health. Visit

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