An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but healthy eating can be much tastier than this.
An expert shared eight delicious foods that count towards a person’s five-a-day – and you probably had no idea.
Health and nutrition experts from Prepped Pots powered by MuscleFood.com shared the alarming statistic that only 27 percent of adults aged 19 – 64 consume five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
However, upping your fruit and veg intake does not have to be a chore or mean switching to a mundane diet.
There are plenty of unexpected ways people can get their five-a-day, from from spaghetti hoops to hummus.
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Prepped Pots’ Ashleigh Tosh said: “A healthy and balanced diet can also be delicious and you can still achieve your five-a-day with foods that you enjoy.
“There are plenty of ways to boost your daily fruit and veg intake with tasty alternatives that make healthy eating easier and more diverse.
“You may actually be consuming more veg and fruit than you think, as people are often confused about what exactly qualifies as part of the five-a-day rule.
“Many people wouldn’t think that pizza or tinned spaghetti could contribute towards their health goals, but the tomato sauce used in both of these meals can actually count towards one portion of your five-a-day.
“You can say goodbye to mundane meal choices, as these unexpected options can change the way we approach our daily dietary goals.”
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Half a 400g can of baked beans counts as one of your five-a-day. They contain tomato sauce and they’re made from haricot beans, a type of legume. Legumes are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein. For an extra healthy snack, make sure to read the nutrition label to opt for baked beans that are lower in added sugars and salt.
Guacamole, a tasty dip made from avocados, tomatoes, onions and lime juice, is a delicious way to incorporate more veg into your diet. Half a medium avocado counts as one of your five-a-day. The tomatoes and onions will also boost your intake even further. Ditch the shop-bought dip for homemade guacamole to avoid added cream, salt and sugar.
Sweet potato fries
Ordinary potatoes don’t count towards your daily veg quota because they’re classed as starch, however sweet potatoes have a lower starch content. One medium-sized sweet potato counts as one of your five-a-day, whether it’s in mash, wedge or baked potato form.
Half a can of tinned spaghetti hoops can be considered as one portion of your five-a-day because of the amount of tomatoes used in the sauce. However, watch out for the added salt and sugar in some varieties, as too much of this can cancel out the health benefits.
Hummus’ main ingredient is the nutritious chickpea which is high in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Make yummy hummus yourself at home, or go for a shop-bought dip without too many flavourings, preservatives or high amounts of sodium. Rack up another one of your five-a-day by dipping veggie sticks in the hummus.
Fruit smoothies and juices
Smoothies are a great way to incorporate a variety of fruit and veg into your diet. Blend leafy greens like spinach or kale with fruits like berries, mangos or bananas for a nutritious and delicious summery beverage. A 150ml glass of fruit juice will also contribute towards your five-a-day, but stick to one serving as these are often high in sugar.
Raisins are a super convenient way to add to your daily fruit intake. The versatile snack can be enjoyed with cereal, porridge or on their own. 30g or one heaped tablespoon of raisins counts as a portion of fruit due to their low water content.
Making your own pizza presents a tasty opportunity to increase your vegetable consumption. Go crazy with vegetables, topping your pizza base with tomato sauce or purée and heaps of tomatoes, peppers, kale, spinach, sweetcorn and mushrooms.
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