The World Health Organisation recommends we eat 400g of fruit and veg a day to lower the risk of certain health problems. It's not as hard as it seems…
Fast Food Five-A-Day
Fruit and veg are an important source of vitamins, minerals, fibre…and the good news is that the fruit and veg in fast food counts towards your Five-A-Day!
Of course, fast food can be high in fat and salt and laden with calories. So it’s always best to get your fruit and veg from other sources. But if you’re having a weekend treat, or you don’t have time to prepare anything else, tucking into fast food doesn’t mean missing out on your Five-A-Day.
All that melted cheese and piquant pepperoni is hiding at least one of your five-a-day. The tomato sauce is vitamin rich and contains an anti-oxidant called lycopene. Lycopene in regular doses can protect against prostate cancer and it’s easier to absorb from cooked tomatoes than raw ones. And if you choose a pizza with a vegetable topping, even better.
Doner meat is full of fat and salt and calories. But the salad you get with it isn’t. Kebab shop salad often includes red cabbage, an excellent source of vitamin A. And you often get a pickled green chili thrown in. Which will give you a good amount of vitamins A, C and K. Vitamin K is especially good for women because it supports the development and maintenance of healthy bones, and decreases the risk of osteoporosis. If there are any slices of onion in the salad, make sure to eat them up, too. Onions are great for vitamins B6 and E, and are full of sodium, potassium, iron and fibre. Which is all good stuff!
Gherkins. Tomatoes. Onions. Lettuce. Some burgers are loaded with fruit and veg (tomatoes are officially classed as a fruit). Lettuce can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, and the fluid in its leaves can help you sleep well. These days, though, you can get all manner of things in burgers. Pineapple, houmous, peppers, beetroot, mushrooms, chillies…all of which count towards your five-a-day!
Some like it hot. And so should you. Turmeric, cumin, ginger and cardamom are spices often used in Indian cooking, and are rich in anti-oxidants. Legumes like lentils and chickpeas are also widely used and count towards your five. And then there are the dishes made from vegetables like spinach, peas, okra, and aubergine, and the dishes that use tomato and onion bases.
Fish and chips
Sadly, chips do not count as part of your five-a-day, even though they are potato, which are a good source of several vitamins, iron and calcium. What really matters here is the mushy peas. Treat yourself to a portion. Peas are mini powerhouses of nutrition. They may even help prevent wrinkles.
Now, let’s remind ourselves of this…
Do you always eat healthily, or are you too tempted by the take-away menu? Let us know!