Disclaimer: Pardon the irony of this post considering that I aspire to become a doctor in the future.
I definitely suffer from a chronic inability to consume sufficient fruits and vegetables in a day. If you’re anything like me, either going to buy groceries is a tedious task or you don’t seriously contemplate your nutritional intake each day. Either way, I have outlined a few ways for you to ingest your proverbial “five a day” and in the process, boost your energy and mood.
- Blend smoothies: As you probably already gathered from the title, smoothies are a great way to boost your health. Consider adding a cruciferous vegetable (like kale) to your chocolate smoothie to supplement your vitamin and fibre intake. Try and incorporate a range of fruits in to your smoothie and don’t be afraid to experiment with unusual flavor combinations. You will be surprised how well chocolate and spinach and blueberry and soy milk complement each other.
- Add extra dimensions to your fruit and veg: If you’re not inspired to eat fruits and vegetables in their original form, this point is for you. Dip carrot sticks into hummus, coat your grapes with dark chocolate (for bonus antioxidants, preferably >70% dark chocolate!) or eat cut apple pieces with a nut butter of your choice. Doing this can encourage you to eat more healthily and will enable you to become accustomed to the alkaline taste that some vegetables possess.
- Cold-pressed juices: Cold-pressed juices are a great alternative to the traditional store bought juices which can contain a considerable amount of sugar and preservatives. The manufacturing process of cold-pressed juice ensures that the fruit and vegetables used retain as much of their original nutrient content, and therefore these juices tend to have a short shelf life. I personally love drinking cold-pressed juices with a combination of both fruits and vegetables to balance out the slightly bitter taste that vegetables can have. Having said that, these juices are by no means a substitute for eating the original form of the vegetable, which is likely to have a lot more fibre.
- Experiment with salads: Salads don’t always have to be boring – with exotic ingredients such as prawns, avocado or goji berries, you can experiment with tastes, textures and flavor. A traditional salad comprising cubes of cucumber, tomato and lettuce with a light Caesar dressing makes for a great accompaniment to any meal.
- Plan out your meals: If you plan your meals in advance, you can ensure that you consume your target amount of fruits and vegetables in a day. It also means that you are less likely to give in to temptations and cravings, and therefore moderate both your sugar and fat intake in a day!