Are You Getting Enough Fruit and Veg?

Are You Getting Enough Fruit and Veg?

Monday, August 8, 2022

For many people, eating more fruit and vegetables, including legumes, may be the single most important dietary change needed to improve their health and reduce the risk of disease. 

Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. Studies show that many people think they eat enough of them when they don’t. 

These foods contain antioxidants, fibre, and many vitamins and minerals. They provide protection against diseases such as high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, birth defects and strokes. Fruit and vegetables are low in fat and can assist in weight reduction. Their high fibre content helps reduce the risk of constipation. Legumes, i.e., peas, beans and lentils, are excellent sources of protein.  

As well as the above benefits, the colours, textures and flavours of raw and cooked fruit and vegetables make a meal more interesting. The best source of fruit and vegetables are those that are in season and locally grown. 

Experts recommend that we eat at least fiver serves of a variety of vegetables and two serves of fruit every day. Children should eat one serve of fruit and three serves of vegetables. 

One ‘serve’ means: 

  • Vegetables – 75grams. i.e., one medium potato, half a cup of cooked vegetables or one cup of salad. 
  • Fruit – 150grams of fresh fruit apple or two apricots, or one cup of tinned or chopped fruit.

Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables by: 

  • Eating them for snacks 
  • Adding plenty of vegetables to soups and casseroles 
  • Having vegetables three times a day e.g., grilled mushrooms and tomatoes on wholemeal toast for breakfast 
  • For a change, serve pureed beans instead of mashed potato 

Here’s a recipe to get you started! 

Pureed Beans and Spinach(serves 4-6) 

600g dried white beans (cannellini or butter), or 2x400g tin of white beans 

2 cloves garlic, crushed 

1tbsp good quality olive oil 

1 bunch English spinach, washed 


Soak dried beans overnight in plenty of cold water. Drain, cover with fresh water and cook for about 1 hour. 

Drain but save a little of the cooking water. Place beans in a blender with garlic and oil. Process together, adding the reserved cooking water to make a smooth paste. If using tinned beans, process as above. Cook spinach for about 2 minutes, drain and chop roughly. Add to the bean mixture. Heat gently and serve. 

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