Do We Really Need our Five a Day? Absolute health

Do We Really Need our Five a Day?    Absolute health

Eating, Exercising, Thinking, and Living Your Way To Better Health

Do We Really Need our Five a Day?

By Health Coach ⋅ September 5, 2012 ⋅ Post a comment

Filed Under diet, food, health, heart disease, nutrition

The fact that we should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each and every day has been drilled into us for a few years now, so much so that the message must have sunk in. However, many companies simply use this logo to improve their sales and ‘this product contains one of your five a day’ has been spotted on some products of very dubious health value indeed.

So, why do we actually need our 5 a day? Well, most of us generally eat for two reasons; firstly, it satisfies our hunger and leaves us feeling good. Secondly, we eat because we enjoy the taste of our food. This latter factor is often the one that lets us down the most. Over the years, foodstuffs have been produced that increasingly contain high levels of fat, sugar and salt, three things which make food taste great but which in excess anyway, are bad for us and have led to an obesity epidemic in the developed world.

The other reason that we eat, even though some may not be aware of it, is for nutrition, the stuff that keeps us going. Any top athlete will be fully aware of this and will understand complex carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids and the like. They do this because it is their job, and to be good at their job, they need to have the right fuel intake.

For the majority of us though; as long as we can roll out of bed, get in the car and go to work, we don’t need to be as aware of our food and can get by on pretty much any food that we eat.

However, the underlying damage that is being caused probably won’t be noticed until it is too late, when the heart attack or stroke strikes or when we are diagnosed with cancer. Naturally, these things can happen in the healthiest of people but in the majority of cases, these are largely avoidable by following a healthy diet and taking moderate amounts of exercise.

This is where fruit and vegetables come into their own. Whereas raw sugar will give you an energy boost, which will rapidly drop and leave you with an energy slump later on (usually satisfied by yet more sugar). Eating fresh fruit will supply your body with a steady supply throughout the day leaving you more energised.

Vegetables too provide essential vitamins and minerals, some of which help to boost our immune system and even attack potential cancer cells. Our bodies usually need very minute amounts of these minerals, but if we don’t get them, then our bodies will suffer.

Of course, eating a lot of fruit, although good for you, can have the negative consequence of destroying the enamel on our teeth, so it is essential to make sure that we clean our teeth to avoid trips to the dentist to have our teeth treated.

Generally though, even though we may not need to keep an exact log of the fruit and vegetables that we eat; to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, fresh fruit and vegetables should be included as a regular part of our daily meals.

John Smilling, for the last year, has started to eat fresh fruit and veg each day after many ‘burger years’ and has not only lost weight but can now walk uphill without getting out of breath.

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