10 weeks to a healthier you
Most of us know the 5-a-day mantra but some of us find it difficult to follow. Don’t worry, you’re not alone – only 30% of us hit the 5-a-day fruit and veg target, but trying to reach it really is worth the effort. Green leafy vegetables are particularly good sources of folate and vitamin K, which both important for healthy blood. Dark green leafy vegetables also contain lutein, a carotenoid found to play a protective role in the eye.
Adding more vegetables in to your diet is easier than you think. Browse the veg aisle below for ideas. New season cabbage, spring greens and purple sprouting broccoli are good choices, while good old cauliflower is making a comeback. Alternatively, try some of the new kids on the plot such as Swiss chard, cavolo nero or mustard leaves.
But it's not just green vegetables that count, so do root vegetables. At this time of year you can take your pick – think ruby beets, new carrots, radishes, turnips and celeriac, which are rich in vitamins, minerals and carotenoids (compounds with antioxidant properties).
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Nicola’s top tips
Our Nutritionist Nicola Selwood, shares her top tips on how to make the most of fresh vegetables.
Steaming vegetables in a little water is one of the easiest and best ways to keep in the flavour, colour and vital nutrients. All you need to do is place the veg loosely in a steamer, cover and cook for around 3 minutes.
Follow storage instructions
Nutrients start to diminish the moment veg is picked, so go for the freshest and store according to any instructions. Leafy greens are best kept in the fridge, while root veg such as potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place and used before their expiry date. Don’t forget frozen vegetables too – these are frozen soon after picking, retaining a lot of the nutrients.
Get the kids involved
Seeing you eat up your greens is the best way to encourage them to do the same. Serving veggies with something kids already know and like is another good ploy – try broccoli with a cream cheese dip or celery sticks with peanut butter. Baby veg such as corn, carrots and courgettes are also sweeter and more appetising to little ones. Try Waitrose Baby Vegetable Medley.
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