Why do we need 5-a-day?
Fruit, vegetables and pulses contain essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), that helps us to function optimally as well as prevent disease. For example
- Spinach is rich in folate and vitamin E - a powerful anti-oxidant which can enhance immunity
- Other leafy vegetables e.g. kale contain calcium which is required for bone health and magnesium for muscle contraction and neuro-transmission
- Sweet peppers, citrus fruit, kiwi, strawberries all contain vitamin C which also enhances immunity and supports iron absorbtion
- Pulses are rich in iron, folate and soluble fibre to help manage cholesterol levels
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which may protect cancer
'Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, avoid a painful intestinal ailment called divertiulitis, and guard against cataract and macular degeneration, two common causes of vision loss...Recent research has shown that the biggest payoff from eating fruit and vegetables is the heart. Although all fruit and vegetables likely contribute to this benefit, green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale; and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit (and their juices) make important contributions'
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