September 04, 2019
Fruits and vegetables are classed as complex carbohydrates. We should aim to eat seven portions of fruits and vegetables a day as every cell in the body will benefit from their nutrients. It’s good to vary the fruits and vegetables as much as possible because some are particularly rich in certain minerals and vitamins (spinach in iron and carrots in beta-carotene, for example).
Is fresh always best?
Tinned, frozen, cooked and dried fruits and vegetables can be as nutritious as fresh ones. Opt for tinned fruits in natural fruit juice, not sugary syrup. Frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen soon after they are picked, which means they are just as healthy as fresh (unless you grow your own or have a local market).
Raw fruit and veg upsets my stomach. What should I eat instead?
Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables usually contain more vitamins and minerals than cooked ones but they can play havoc on your digestive system. In that case, cooking them may suit you better. Try poached peaches or pears, baked apples and plums, or roasted and puréed vegetables.
Should I only buy organic?
There are some studies that suggest certain organic foods may have higher vitamins and minerals but not all the research shows that. Personally, I can’t justify the environmental impact of growing an organic carrot on the other side of the world and then flying it thousands of air miles to a supermarket. Similarly, it may not be worth overstretching your food budget for more expensive organic foods. I would prioritise local, fresh food instead, and organic if it is available and affordable.
Of course, people who buy organic food aren’t just concerned about its nutritional value; they want to eat food that they feel has been produced with few pesticides. When it comes to meat, they prefer to eat animal produce whose organic certification standards provide them with some reassurance about animal welfare.