Have you got the minerals?
With the shocking revelation that 70% of adults aged 19-64 in the UK are failing to meet the 5-a-day recommendation of fruit and veg, we have produced our easy guide to keep up with our green fingered friends to stay as fit as a fiddle.
You know what they say about an Apple a day… well this could be true! Not only are apples a great source of fibre but the skin of apples contains quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that also packs antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties which could improve your protection from heart disease and possibly reduce allergy sensitivity.
They don’t just stop there a study from St. George's Hospital Medical School in London found that people who eat five or more apples a week have better lung function than those who don't.
So why not swap those lunchtime snacks for a few apple slices!
Their yellow glow brings a little joy to our lives, not only because the numerous double entendre that follow, yet as bananas contain high levels of tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin our brains very own source of happiness elevating your mood and bringing a smile to your face.
Packed full of goodness, this ‘Super-Fruit’ is loaded with potassium, which can lower your blood pressure, vitamin B6 which aids sleep, magnesium which helps to relax muscles, and they are one of the best sources of Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that fills you up and helps to boost your metabolism.
Add some slices of banana to your cereal in the morning, or eat dried banana chips for a mid-day energy boost!
These mini trees are the dread of children worldwide second possibly to the gruesome Brussel sprouts, yet they are one of the best veggies around whose health benefits are endless
Cancer-fighting? Broccoli has a high concentration of Sulforaphane which gives it their cancer-fighting power, eating a regular amount of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of cancer; particularly lung and colon cancer. Broccoli also contains, folate which has been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer in women.
Yet it doesn’t stop there Sulforaphane also protects against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and has antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and neuroprotective properties.
The list is endless, these trees of wonder are packed full of Vitamin A and vitamin E crucial for healthy looking skin, vitamin C, calcium, iron and vitamin K which improves bone health by improving calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.
Fresh or frozen, buy and eat broccoli as often as you can!
All citrus, from limes to tangerines, are chock-full of vitamin C, fiber, and small amounts of other nutrients and disease-fighting chemicals. It's the C that makes citrus a Superfruit, because this vitamin counters the effects of sun damage, regulates oil glands, and can even prevent age spots and most of all the pirate’s terror scurvy!
Are carrots good for your eyes?
Well yes, carrots are very high in vitamin A, an essential nutrient for good vision. In fact, carrots are loaded with beta carotene and are subsequently converted into vitamin A in your liver. Eating carrot sticks has also been shown to replace the urge and habit of smoking, as the motion lifting a carrot stick to your mouth can satisfy your brains urge.
Carrots are also a great alternative to crisps and chocolate for snacking.
The notorious source of Popeye's super strength, spinach has been synonymous with providing a power boost, but is there any truth in it?
Although it’s not going to make your biceps bulge in seconds, spinach has high levels of Protein and it contains all the essential amino acids for muscle growth. A 30-gram serving provides 1 gram of protein and 181% of the RDI for vitamin K (16). Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense leafy green vegetables you can eat, containing high amounts of folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C….. to name but a few.
Although you may not gain super strength like our favourite sailor man, a regular consumption of spinach will surely keep you fighting fit.
We have only named a few here but all fruit and veg pack a health punch, the vital vitamins and minerals that they give you will not only keep you fit and energised but can help you ward off illnesses and disease in the future. Whether it's fresh, frozen or dried eat lots and you'll feel all the better.
Further 5 a day resources: