It is always a pleasant experience as a dietitian, to be able to say, “you can eat more”. Can you guess which group of foods that we all can eat more of? Members of this food group are colourful, low in kilojoules, packed with nutrition and flavour, and can be eaten at any time of the day? What food could be so versatile, and so good for us?
You can eat more vegetables
The one group of foods you can eat more of is vegetables. Nutrition Week 2017 has been devoted to promoting this humble and full of health food. To help you reach your minimum requirement for vegetables I have designed a quiz. This will prepare you to join and exceed in the Nutrition Week Challenge.
How well do you know your vegetable serves for adults, older children and adolescents?
1) What is the minimum number of daily serves of vegetables recommended for adults, older children and adolescents?
a) 3 b) 5 c) 7 d) 10
2) Which serve below does not equal one serve of vegetables?
a) 1 large potato b) 1 cup salad c) ½ cup carrot d) 75g cooked pulses
3) Which of the following vegetables are actually fruit:
a) tomato b) pumpkin c) zucchini d) all of the above
4) Vegetables support health and wellbeing through:
a) Dietary fibre b) Vitamins and minerals c) phytonutrients d) all of the above
5) What is the minimum number of daily serves of coloured vegetables recommended for adults, older children and adolescents?
a) 1 b) 2 c) 3 d) 4
Five serves a day is the minimum requirement for adults and older children and adolescents. This is based on the scientific evidence reviewed to develop our current Dietary Guidelines. Many Australians are not eating enough fruits or vegetables.
One serve of starchy vegetables is equivalent to one small potato.
There are many fruits that we eat as vegetables. Botanically tomatoes, pumpkin and zucchini are all fruits, as they form on a seed bearing plant after the pollination of the flower. The fruit grows from within the flower. All fruits contain seeds. Vegetables are the roots, stems and leaves of plants. More information on the botanical classifications of fruit is available at the ABC website.
Coloured vegetables are especially high in a wide range of nutrients and phytonutrients (also called phytochemicals), which are naturally occurring and contain active components such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
The more colours the better, as coloured vegetables are particularly high in phytonutrients.
One of the best ways to boost your energy levels and your health and wellbeing is to enjoy 5 vegetables a day. You can eat more vegetables—steamed, salads, stir-fry, curries and in pasta sauces. Raw vegetables can be eaten as a snack such as carrot, cucumber, capsicum and celery sticks. These are delicious with a vegetable dip.
Need some inspiration to eat more vegetables, then read my tips on 5 a day. You might also like to take up the challenge for nutrition week, 15 to 21 October. Remember 5 serves is the minimum, this is one food you can definitely eat more of.