Increasing Fruit & Vegetable Consumption
Fruit and vegetables are generally high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fat, sodium and other, negative nutrients. Fresh fruit and vegetables are always preferable to dried or even frozen as more of the nutrients are preserved. Fresh fruit also has higher water content and will help you to feel fuller for longer, preventing those mid-morning snack attacks!
It is surprisingly easy to combine fruit with a main course, instead of as a separate pudding. Apples, mangos and pears are easily added to salads or curry sauces to create a healthy, flavor boost. Even salsa can be added to your meat or used as a side dip with a meal. Adding it to your breakfast can be achieved via fruit on top of your cereal or mixing it with yoghurt; this is a quick and easy way to boost your vitamins and minerals.
It is worth noting that canned fruit and vegetables are, generally, as nutrient dense as the fresh alternative. This can make them a viable option when you have limited time. However, it should be noted that tinned fruit and vegetables can be stored in a sodium based liquid or even a syrup; this can seriously affect the goodness of the fruit or vegetable.
Recommended Daily Amount
The recommended daily amount of vegetables is two and a half cups per person. Many people do not consume this amount. Vegetables can be added to your main dish in much the same way as fruit can, steak can be grilled in a variety of vegetables to both add flavor and provide a better nutritional benefit. Vegetables can even be added to a cheese sauce or other topping.
Fat contains more calories than any other type of food; however, it is also an important part of your diet. Fat helps to carry vitamins A, D, E and K around the body and helps you to feel full. The best fats are mono-unsaturated and omega-3; these are present in nuts, salmon and flaxseed. Nuts are very easy to add to any meal. Do not be fooled by fat free products! If they are a natural product then they will be fat free; if they are a manmade product they are likely to have the fat replaced with sugar which will dramatically increase your calorie intake.
Any whole grain product has the entire part of the grain from a plant present in it. This means that it is packed with good nutrients and a huge benefit to your health. Of course, a product may say whole grain and only have a very small amount of whole grain in it. The best products are those which state ‘100% whole grain’ although, the texture and taste can take some adjusting to as the flavor is usually particularly strong. Rice and whole wheat pasta are two of the best options when choosing whole grain products.
Choosing the most natural version of any food product will ensure you gain the most nutrients and least amount of calories. It is still acceptable to eat other foods! Any which are particularly high in calories or bad fats should be eaten in moderation. Research also suggests that a healthy balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of a wide variety of diseases.
As far as supplements are concerned, these should only be taken under the strict supervision of a nutritionist. When it comes to nutrition, men and women have different needs. The average male hitting the gym 4 times a week and doing intense strength training needs whey protein powder and creatine to build and preserve muscle. Women on the other hand, should focus their attention on building lean muscle not bulk up. They too need whey and creatine, but the quantities are different. Among other supplements, we should mention green tea and fatty acids to help burn fat faster when working out.
Site last updated: 10. February 2020
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