Are you getting your five a day? Now, we don’t want to sound like your mum, but it’s super important when you’re working hard to make sure your body’s getting what it needs. Plus, according to the NHS, eating plenty of fruit and veg is important to your health in the long-term, helping prevent digestive problems, manage your weight and keep your heart healthy.
So, while it might be tempting to reach for salty or sugary snacks when you’re busy, eating more good stuff will help you stay well and make the most out of life at IconInc. And while the New Year’s a great time to focus on getting more fruit and veg into your diet, we’ve come up with a few simple hacks to help you stick with it all year round.
1. Start early
If you find it hard to eat fruit and veg when you’re on the go, try getting it into your breakfast to get your day off to a healthy start. We've got loads of options included in our grab & go breakfast so get creative! Throw some berries into your instant porridge pot to sweeten it, slice a banana on top of peanut butter on toast or – if you’re feeling flush – invest in a smoothie maker for your room so you can nail one, two or three of your five a day in one go. Mix things up with fruits, greens, nuts and plant milks to keep things interesting and pack in lots of vitamins and minerals in one glass.
2. Throw extra veggies in when you’re cooking
If you’re not a big fan of plain veg, there are ways to eat it without piling it on the side of your plate. Try curries, casseroles and pasta dishes with veg that melts into the sauce – think tomatoes, butternut squash and carrots. Grated veg not only adds flavour to sauces, it can help thicken them, so try adding some grated carrot or courgette to your usual bolognaise or shepherd’s pie. Plus, adding veggies to meat dishes helps bulk them out and helps you stretch your budget that bit further.
3. Make it into an adventure
Got a market or international supermarket nearby? Have a browse and see what new fruit and veg they’ve got that you’ve never tried before. Buy something new every week – who knows, you might find a new favourite. There’s an old saying that the key to good health is ‘eating the rainbow’, so stock up on a range of colours, flavours and textures to keep things interesting.
4. Go veggie one day a week
It might seem like everyone’s going vegan these days, but you don’t have to go totally meat free to up your veg intake. Try swapping meat meals for plant-based once a week to help your health and the environment. Lots of supermarkets now have plant-based ranges which can tick of two of your five a day in one pack - just look for the ‘5 a day’ symbol on pack to see what you’re getting.
5. Always have some with you
IconInc gets deliveries of fruit every day and it’s free, so why not grab a piece to keep in your uni bag ready for when hunger strikes? Carrying a piece of fruit means you don’t have to hit the vending machine when you get peckish, and it’ll save you money too. It’s one small step, but it’s a step in the right direction.
For more inspiration on eating better, check out some of the other ideas on the IconInc blog