Fruit and veg! I love it! We all know the current guidelines state that you should be eating at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, which equates to around 400g. That seems pretty doable right? Well, scientists are now saying that to reach optimal health goals and to possibly prevent 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide, we should be aiming for 10 portions. Still doable?
As a plant-based eater I consume a lot of fruit and vegetables but, 10 per day? I’m not so sure. That’s 800g… Combine that with the 2 liters of water it’s recommended you drink each day, and crikey, you are definitely going to feel the bloat. All that fibre, all that liquid, will your gut really thank you?
Let’s break this down, with a little help from the NHS website, 1 portion equates to 80g which is the equivalent to:
1 banana, apple, orange, nectarine, pear or other medium fruit. 2 satsumas, kiwis, plums and other small fruit. 3 apricots, 6 lychees, 7 berries, 12 grapes, 14 cherries. A grapefruit counts as 2 and 5cm slices of papaya, melon, pineapple and other ‘large’ fruits count as 1.
You can also include dried and tinned fruit but as these are so high in sugar, you should definitely limit your intake.
4 heaped tablespoons of leafy green veg (cabbage, kale, ect) is 1 portion, or 2 broccoli/cauliflower florets. It’s 3 heaped tablespoons of carrots, sweetcorn, peas and all other cooked veggies. 3 sticks of celery, a 5cm slice of cucumber, half a medium capsicum and 7 cherry tomatoes. Frozen and tinned veg also count.
Pulses and Beans
3 heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses (lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas) but regardless of how much you consume it can only count as 1 portion.
So, realistically could you consume 10 portions per day, everyday? Let’s make a mock menu 🙂
Breakfast: Fruit Salad: 12 grapes, 1 apple chopped, 2 satsumas segmented, 2 slices of melon diced = 5 portions (but sooo much sugar)
Lunch: A mashed chickpea sandwich with spinach and grated carrot = 3 portions
Dinner: A veggie stir fry with brown rice: Bean sprouts, broccoli, capsicum, onion, zucchini = 5 portions
I think this could be doable, when you break it down it isn’t as hard as it first sounds. If you avoid processed foods, make each dish from scratch, plan your meals and invest in a weighing scales and a smoothie maker for the days you’re feeling lazy, I think we could all be a lot healthier and a lot more nutritionally satisfied… oh and everyone will experience the vegan bloat, it won’t just be me anymore, yay!
For more info on plant-based eating I highly recommend reading How Not To Die by Michael Greger. It’s fascinating and if it doesn’t encourage you to eat your greens, nothing will! Also, this article from The Guardian is very interesting and can certainly help you to factor in your ’10 a day’. And for those of you that like a good doco, download Forks Over Knives, you’ll be pleased you did!
Please comment below if you have tried to get your ’10 a day’ or have any opinions on the matter! And for more vegan foodie fun please check out Without_Cruelty on Instagram ✌ ❤