Did you know that the ‘Five a Day’ rule was a random easy number?
Yup. It was a decision made in the winter of 2002/3 to try to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables.
Why five though? Isn’t that a little on the low side, considering that people in nations like Japan eat seven to thirteen portions per day?
The reason is that the Department of Health didn’t want to scare us with big numbers:
“There must be a balance between what is healthy for the British public and what is feasible,” said a spokeswoman.
Which is slightly scary.
Some of the Five a Day suggestions were
3 T baked beans
1 tinned peach
1 T of tomato ketchup
1 glass of fruit juice
3 T sweetcorn
3 T lentils
3 T marrowfat peas (?)
Meaning that you could get all of your five a day from tins and jars!
Heinz pasta shapes were not the type of food the original five-a-day campaign had in mind.
One of your five a day?
(And, healthy? Really?)
However, despite this, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of 2014 showed, more than ten years later, that 70% of UK adults ate fewer than five portions of fruit and veg a day, let alone the seven now recommended last month by researchers at University College London.
This is a lot more than slightly scary.
In my not-terribly-humble opinion, getting your vegetables from tins doesn’t count.
You need fresh stuff, and considerably more vegetables than fruit which, though tasty, often causes tooth decay.
A Radiant Skin Salad for lunch is a good place to start, and to make that easy on yourself prep some of it beforehand.
I’m not giving you a specific recipe, but it’s always nice to think about having every part of the plant on your plate, from root to seed, to sprouts to leaves.
If you prepare some grated roots at the beginning of the week, it’ll last you a few days, and sprouted lentils are definitely better for you than boiled to death ones, so get some of those on the go.
Washing your lettuce as soon as you pick it can make the difference between whipping up a quick lunch and resenting it. I always have some washed lettuce in the fridge for ease and speed. (Smug? Yes, probably…)
Today I’m having grated raw beetroot and carrot, lettuce and welsh onions from the garden, watercress (not from the garden – sadly) avocado, sprouted lentils, sprouted alfalfa, tomatoes, raspberries and cucumber (yes they are really nice in salad, as they are slightly sour) topped with some feta and salad sprinkles for fats, minerals and vitamins. Also they taste delish. The recipe for that is in my book – The Skincredible Journey. (In fact there are lots of suggestions in there, now I come to think of it!)
If my lunch looks particularly pretty, I do put it on Instagram on occasion, so that might give you some ideas.
So, that’s my ‘Five a Day’ done by lunchtime today, and I’ll be having asparagus, aubergine, green beans and chard with my supper.
Why make such a song and dance about vegetables?
Well, not only are they good for your health, but they’re good for your skin (and hair and nails) so eating more of them is a GOOD THING in general.
Do you have any super salad recipes? I’d love to see or hear them.
In the meantime, have a Radiant day!