5 a day? Ridiculous!
So, we're told we need to eat five a day. How many of us achieve that? And how many of us stick to the same ones week in week out?!
It should actually be 10 a day according to new research. And I'm happy this information has recently come to light.
Now I'm going to blow your mind, with a challenge for you all to try to get around 20 to 30 different plants into your diets each week! "WHATTTT?", I hear you say? Sounds a lot, right, but it's actually pretty easy to do. It just takes a little bit of preparation, lots of veggies and the will to succeed.
Think of a minimum of seven cupfuls of plants, including herbs a day. Five as vegetables, two as fruits and you won't go far wrong.
The wider the variety of veggies in your diet, the better your overall gut flora and therefore health. Think of a rainbow of vegetables.
Try buying things you've never had before, throw them in a soup, stew, stir fry or smoothie. Variety is the key to a healthy gut. Let your fridge be an explosion of colour.
And remember to include proteins with each meal, that's meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
Extra virgin olive oil is best for salads and low temperature cooking. A little coconut oil or butter for frying at high temperatures. Although, to get the most out of your cooking, it's best to cook at a low to medium temperature to keep the enzymes and nutrients intact.
So here's an example of how to do it:
Smoothie with two fruits, maybe blueberries and strawberries and half a banana with two veg, perhaps kale and spinach, or some other green leaf or herb. Don't forget your protein! Maybe pop in some fish!!! Ummm... or perhaps some nuts and seeds might go a little better. I'll let you decide!
Eggs, whichever way you like'em with three veggies, perhaps, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, maybe throw in half an avocado for good measure.
Homemade vegetable soup with three different veggies or a nice big salad with grated beetroot, carrot and courgette. Soups and salads are an amazing way to increase our vegetable intake. Soups also work well as a pre-dinner starter.
Stir fry with seven veggies, pak choy, onions, ginger, carrots, green beans, broccoli, fresh coriander.
There you have it, a whopping 14 plus different plant foods in one day! So you can easily do seven! Right?!
Try to avoid snacking in between meals, and also try to leave a 12 hour gap between dinner and breakfast.
If you want to improve your health, the health of your digestive system, lose weight and feel fabulous. Then this is what you need to do. And ideally cut out any processed foods you're currently eating, or at least try to reduce them.
Give it a go for one month and see yourself transform into wellness!
I hope i've inspired you. Feel free to drop me a note if you take on the challenge. I'd love to hear your feedback.
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About Ruth Tansey
I'm a nutritional therapist and well-being coach. I specialise in gut and digestive related conditions such as IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohns, as well as ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. As all disease starts with poor gut health I treat a wide number of ailments, from migraines and allergies to eczema and heart disease.