The likelihood of anyone being able to relate to this post I assume is quite small, but this is my situation and I thought there has to be someone out there the same!
I don’t like fruit…. I never have and don’t think I ever will. I love vegetables and eat quite a range but I never eat fruit, I just don’t like any of them!
Because I don’t eat fruit, I think it can be quite easy to fall short on my 5 a day, so I took to the internet to try and find ways to up my Vitamin C intake and reach the recommended 5 a day, but there wasn’t a lot of help out there.
I decided to rack my brains and come up with my own top tips for using veg and other tricks to get your 5 a day.
And before I start, I wanted to share a comment I read in Cosmopolitan that made me feel far better for not being a fruit lover!
“To reduce your sugar consumption, I recommend at least four of these “5-a-day” (although you should be aiming for closer to 10!) should be vegetables. Aim for an 80:20 ratio of vegetables to fruit.” – Naomi Mead, Nutritionist for Cosmopolitan Magazine
1. Juices and Smoothies
I don’t like smoothies either because when I say I don’t like fruit, I really don’t, but some people can manage a smoothie and it’s a great way to get some of your 5 a day in!
When I say juices, you can go for the crazy juices filled with greens, but I go for your standard orange juice to start the day. Some say the sugar counteracts the benefis that make it ‘one of your 5 a day’, but it does count and it’s a good start to the day.
2. Snack on Raw Veg
Most people up on their fruit intake by choosing to snack on it. It’s quick and convenient and a lot of people say it will curb any sweet cravings.
Veg can be a snack too, raw carrots and celery is a great snack, very easy and if you want to pair it with something like houmous, that makes for a more filling snack!
3. Throw Veg in Every Dish
No matter what meal you’re making for lunch or dinner, try and find a way of throwing some veg in.
Some dishes are easier to add veg to than others, and with some, you’ll be able to get lots of different kinds in, but even if you’re having something a bit naughty, adding peas and sweetcorn to your plate means you’ve got something.
I always add sweetcorn and broccoli to quick pastas and they make really tasty additions.
4. Baked Beans Count
If you’re a fan of beans on toast, or you like to add them to your full English, then you’re in luck because three heaped tablespoons of baked beans count as one of your 5 a day.
They may not have all the other nutritious benefits that fruit and veg have, but if the goal is to get your 5 a day and you struggle to do it the traditional way, beans are a good start.
Other beans count too such as kidney beans and cannelloni beans.
5. Opt for A Fruit Lolly for Dessert
Although the argument is that fruit juice contains too much sugar to be part of your 5 a day, it still counts for now and opting for fruit juice over a highly caffeinated fizzy drink is still desirable for your diet.
An easy way to get your final 5 a day after dinner is to swap the ice creams for a fresh fruit juice lolly. These are cheap and easy to make yourself and I’d recommend doing it yourself to make sure you know how much sugar is in them.
Wherever the juice cartons recommends as ‘one portion’ that contains 1 of your 5 a day which is usually 250ml, pour that into a lolly mould and freeze.
I’m not a nutritionist and to be super honest, I’m not even very healthy, there’s lots of days I don’t make the 5 a day, but my best intentions are always there and when I’m really making an effort, these are the tips I’ll go to.
If you’ve got any top tips for boosting your intake of 5 a day foods without going for fruit, please share them in the comments!