Food & Drink

Live Longer by Eating More Fruit and Vegetables Each Day

Fruit and Vegetables

We’ve all seen that national health campaign, Go for 2 and 5, where they recommend at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day.

Yet who know what a serve is, exactly? This article explains.

A serve of fruit

So, a serve of fruit is;

  • A cup of fresh fruit such as strawberry, diced melon or pineapple
  • One medium sized fruit such as apple, peach, banana, mango, pear
  • One and a half tablespoons of dried fruit or 4 dried apricots
  • Two pieces of the smaller fruits such as apricots, passionfruit, kiwifruit
  • Half a cup of 100% fruit juice (with no added sugar)

What constitutes a serve of vegetables?

A serve of vegetables is considered as;

  • A cup of fresh salad
  • Half a medium potato
  • Half a cup of cooked vegetables
  • Half a cup of canned vegetables or legumes
  • A medium tomato

Combining healthy eating with physical activity such as regular yoga practice, increases the chances you will live longer, and decreases the chances of diseases.

This is all fine and dandy but how do we get all that into our diets? Let’s look at some common and practical ways.

How to get more fruit in your diet

Add fruit to cakes and muffins, or on top of pancakes or pikelets
Make a delicious fruit smoothie with fresh fruit, low fat milk and low fat yoghurt
Slice fresh fruit over breakfast cereal or porridge
Make a delicious fruit based dessert such as a fruit crumble with apple and rhubarb, bake an apple and serve with low fat custard
Make a delicious fresh fruit platter for breakfast, a snack or for dessert
Poach seasonal fruit such as pears or stone fruit
Dice fresh fruit and keep in a container in the fridge so it is a quick convenient snack – this works well with fresh melon
Keep some fresh fruit at work or school for a quick and easy snack. Perhaps you could ask your workplace to supply fruit as well as biscuits for coffee breaks
Thread fresh fruit onto skewers and serve with yoghurt for a delicious colourful snack
Freeze fresh fruit by itself or mixed with yoghurt for a refreshing summer snack

How to get more vegetables in your diet

Ask for extra salad in a sandwich or roll for lunch or take a big fresh salad in a container to work to have with lunch
Serve chopped fresh vegetables with salsa or low fat dip for a healthy snack
Add vegetables to breakfast by adding mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes to omelettes or having these vegetables braised on toast
Add vegetables such as carrot and zucchini to muffins and cakes
Grow a vegetable garden if you have the space. This is great exercise and the whole family can enjoy the fresh vegetables straight from the garden
Add extra vegetables to casseroles, soups and stir-fry
Grate vegetables into pasta sauces or homemade hamburger patties
Lightly brush vegetable slices with olive oil and cook on the barbeque. This works great for eggplant and zucchini
Thread vegetable pieces onto skewers with lean chicken or tofu and grill or BBQ

Eating unhealthy foods regularly makes you put on weight. This increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and fatty liver disease.

Fruit and Vegetables for Children

What about those fussy children? How do we get 2 and 5 into them each day?

We can encourage children to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables by being a little creative with your preparation

Freeze fresh fruit by itself or mixed with yoghurt for a refreshing summer snack
Make a delicious fruit smoothie with fresh fruit, some milk and yoghurt
Thread fresh fruit onto skewers and serve with yoghurt for a delicious and colourful snack
Make a delicious fresh fruit platter for breakfast, a snack or for dessert
Add vegetables such as carrot and zucchini to muffins and cakes
Grate vegetables into pasta sauces or homemade hamburger patties
Dice fresh fruit and keep in a container in the fridge so it is a quick convenient snack, this works well with fresh melon
Serve chopped fresh vegetables with salsa or low fat dip for a healthy snack
Thread vegetable pieces onto skewers with lean meat, chicken or tofu and BBQ

Kelly Daniels

About the Author

Perth native, Kelly spends her days in front of a laptop, and nights wrapped up with the latest Netflix series. Kelly is also known to do Yoga and beach runs.