Vegetable – powerful and important in healthy eating
A diet with high vegetable content provides beta carotene, vitamin C, folate, potassium and other minerals. The high fibre content aids bowel function and the bioflavonoids help prevent disease.
Whether we consume vegetables in their natural form or cooked, they provide a great source of essential nutrients.
Portion sizes vary depending on the vegetable, though if you can imagine 3-4 heaped tablespoons this is a good guide. Try to consume both raw and cooked and a variety of colours, not only will your dish look appealing you will maximise the nutrient variety. For example the darker the leaf the more vitamin C and beta carotene it will have. Deep yellow will provide a high antioxidant in the form of vitamin A.
Maximising the nutrient content
Nutrient content is altered depending on the way the vegetables are prepared.
The yellow carotene is not water soluble, so remains when boiled but vitamins B and C leak into the water. However, the enzyme that destroys the vitamin B and C stops at boiling point, so always add your vegetables to boiling water. The best method is steaming.
How to increase your vegetable intake
- When making a sandwich add tomatoes, shredded white cabbage, cucumbers, peppers and raw spinach.
- Make homemade pizza with small pieces of raw vegetables or lightly steamed.
- Add extra vegetables to any ready meals you use.
- Make some homemade vegetable soup.
- Cut vegetables into mouth size snack pieces and store in the fridge for a quick healthy snack.
If eating a vegetarian diet
Always select a variety of vegetables, whole grains and seeds.
Use natural yogurt to increase vitamin B12.
Fruits are the perfect on the go snack and great for a natural sugar boost.
- Excellent sources of vitamin C, beta carotene and potassium.
- Many contain phytochemicals, thought to help protect against cancer.
- High in fibre.
Ways to increase you fruit intake
- Add fruit to your morning cereal or porridge
- Drink a small glass of juice with your breakfast
- Keep the fruit bowl topped up and in a handy place to grab a quick snack instead of reaching for the biscuits
- Take a small tub of chopped up fruit to work or on days out to snack on
- Make your own smoothie with natural yogurt, frozen berries are great for this
- Add berries into your pancake batter mix
- Save the over ripe bananas for smoothies
- Add slices of apples or pear to salads
- If you see fruit you haven’t tried, buy it to add a variety to your fruit bowl
- Chopped apricots are delicious when mixed into couscous
Eating a balanced diet can support weight management and improve mood and overall wellbeing. Interested to learn about pro active eating, click here to request further information
Herbal teas can be refreshing, therapeutic and or stimulating, whichever you chose your body will benefit greatly from the herbal properties.
Herbal teas freshly brewed emit aromas that tantalise the taste buds. The wonderful thing about making your own herbal tea is that you know its fresh and the exact contents.
For those who have limited time, visit the shop to purchase organic teas.
If you wish to dry your own herbs, berries or flowers:
- Collect leaves, berries, or blossoms in mid-morning. If there is dust or soil on the leaves wash in cool water and shake off excess water.
- Lay out your selection on to either a tea towel/paper towel/drying sheet/cheesecloth and place out of direct sunlight. A warm dry place such as an airing cupboard is ideal. Don’t layer- place in single depth.
- The drying time can be between 7-15 days. When the herbs,flowers, berries are dried, they will crumble. Store in clean glass jars with air tight lids.
For immediate fresh brews, simply select your chosen herb, flower, berry and place into a teapot. Pour on freshly boiled water and allow to steep for approximately 10 minutes. Kick off your shoes, sit back and savour the magical taste of your own freshly made brew.
Once you feel confident in brewing why not try mixing different herbs, flowers and berries together to find some wonderful aromatic and healing brews.