This week’s Thrive in Five is all about increasing your vegetable intake.
Increasing your vegetable intake is not just to get the health benefits, but it’s also for the longevity benefits as well. A study The Imperial College of London conducted a few years ago, looked at a very broad range of participants. Some of those participants were eating one portion of vegetables a day. Some none, some were having three or four, some are having five or six. So it was a really broad range of participants in the study. What they did in the study was they increased each individual’s portion of vegetables by two and a half portions a day, which is roughly filling up the size of your hand.
What happened was this
By increasing the participants vegetable intake by 2.5 portions the benefits were:
There was a 16% reduction in the risk of heart disease.
An 18% reduction in the risk of stroke.
A 13% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A 4% reduction in the risk of cancer.
A 15% reduction in the risk of premature death
Higher intakes resulted in even greater benefits. In other words, if you had even more than an extra two and a half, you got even greater benefits.
How to increase your vegetable intake
Now I think this is incredibly powerful because it’s a fairly simple thing to do. You could increase the amount of vegetables in your evening meal and have a vegetable smoothie in the morning. And that’s how easy it is to do. And even if you’re not very keen on vegetables, just creep it up. Maybe you just have an extra half a portion, then an extra portion, then an extra one and a half two until you get to that two and a half mark.
You’ll notice the difference as well in energy, in your skin and in your overall health. Vegetables are very, very nutrient dense.
What I try to do, my little golden rule is I’ll try and make sure that I’ve got vegetables in two out of the three meals a day that I consume.
So breakfast, typically not lunch is often a salad and dinner, I have a tonne of vegetables around a piece of fish or currently meat. Although I’m looking at taking that out to my diet.
So that’s the tip for this week, increase your portions of vegetables. Make it different coloured vegetables as well, different textures, different looks, different feels. Keep it interesting. And if you do struggle with this, don’t be afraid to blend them all up with a few berries or a banana or a piece of fruit into a smoothie and just get them down that way.
So that’s it for me. I hope that’s been helpful. I’ll talk to you very soon and of course stay healthy.
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