Everything you need to know about fruits and vegetables!
Fruits and vegetables are natural nutrient powerhouses! They contain the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber needed to power the billions of chemical reactions our body produces every second of the day. Fruits and veggies contain the information that our bodies need to allow them to keep working the way they were meant to.
It’s recommended to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day but we should really be eating around 8-13 portions of high quality fruits and veggies for optimal wellness. (Smoothies, juices, soups and stews are great ways to get more every day!) Another thing that will influence the amount of fruits and vegetables your body will need is the amount of exercise you do each day.
“Fruits and veggies contain antioxidants to help to protect our cells from oxidative stress which is a process that happens when your body is exposed to stress – you can compare it to internal rusting. Depending on the amount of oxidative stress happening, you’ll need to up your intake.” - Jess, graze nutritionist
There are 3 major things you should look for when you are buying fresh produce. Before purchasing anything ask yourself these questions:
If the produce is locally sourced, it will generally contain more nutrients than produce that has been flown overseas.
When produce has a longer traveling time, it has less time to spend growing in the ground and creating nutrients!
Do you know the “dirty dozen” and the “clean 15” fruits and vegetables?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) publishes a list of the 12 crops that are the most heavily sprayed with pesticides (the dirty dozen) and a list of the 15 least sprayed crops (the clean 15) to help you make smart product purchases.
The dirty dozen in particular are best bought organic, so you know you're not taking in any of those nasty pesticides.
Yes, seasonal produce is ideal because it is able to spend more time in the soil and less time traveling, which means it will contain more nutrients than produce that has spent weeks in transit.
“Seasonal produce is ideal but we are striving for progress not perfection so if you don’t have access or don’t like the seasonal produce then just make sure you are getting 5 fruits and veggies in the first place.” - Jess, graze nutritionist
Also, frozen fruits and vegetables are a great option – either buy seasonal produce and freeze it yourself, or buy fruits and vegetables in the frozen sections of your grocery stores.
For people who don’t like veggies (especially kids!), it’s smart to incorporate vegetables into recipes where you won’t even notice them! A few of Jess’ favorite ways to sneak more veggies into your daily diet are:
Get your vitamin fix with these delicious snacks, made right here in the graze kitchen with real fruit and veg! Look out for our treats that tick off a portion of fruit, and a source of protein with our handy badges.
Kale chips baked with cashew butter, chia seeds and paired with crunchy edamame beans.
soft apple pieces, mini strawberries and blackcurrants
pineapple, goldenberries and coconut
mini strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and chewy banana coins
A whole bag of pure apple slices, dried to a perfect crunch and lightly dusted with cinnamon.
mango, pineapple pieces and coconut flakes
goldenberries, cranberries, green raisins and blueberries