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Thrifty | 5 a Day keeps the doctor away

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The department of health recommends that we eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. A portion is about 80 grams.Those grapes were 500 grams and more than enough for one day; but we need a variety. Food keeps going up in price and so it can be difficult to get your 5 a day unless you shop around. Imported fruit can be expensive. I had nectarines from Asda at Christmas but had to buy 8 for £4.00 or they were really expensive. I bought grapes for £1.99 at Lidl last week but this week did much better at Aldi. They were £1.25 but marked up as 30% off so I paid just 87p for enough fruit for an entire day!

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I always check out the fruit and vegetables in Aldi and Lidl and although the choice isn’t always so good as the major supermarkets the prices are better. I also had the  6 conference pears for 99p and broccoli (350 g) for 38p; that was reduced by 30% too. The bananas and apples in the picture I had from Lidl last week. Both Lidl and Aldi sell Basa fillets and they are good for £1.99 in Aldi. We need the vitamins in the fruit and vegetables but we also need the vitamins and minerals in oily fish and so I bought a few tins of sardines in tomato sauce for 38p each.

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I never have bean sprouts for my stir fry and so I picked up that jar of bean sprouts. The advantage with a jar is that they keep better; the disadvantage is that they make your stir fry a bit soggy. It was still yummy!

I have the soya milk to put on cornflakes because my diet is dairy free; that is cheaper than from the larger supermarkets at 65p. The tuna in brine was 49p and will be good on a salad. The beer is for celebrating my birthday; by the time you read this I expect those bottles will be in the recycling!

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The reason for the 5 portions of fruit and veg a day is you get a selection of vitamins and minerals and of course lots of lovely fibre. Salad will also count and tomatoes but not potatoes; way too much starch in potatoes. Potatoes are reasonably healthy though and good for you. You can use frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables and even a glass of fruit juice will count towards your 5 a day. I put frozen peas into my stir fry and so that counted as one portion. The bean sprouts would count as one too. I tend to have one or two portions of veg with a meal and eat less potatoes and then have fruit (fresh or canned) for dessert.

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2 Responses

  1. amandachen

    Oh, this is interesting. Thanks for the info. I wonder if you’ve ever come across medical studies on this five-a-day thing? I mean, what would happen if you only ate five portions per week?

    When I read things like this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-1349960/5-day-fruit-vegetables-myth-claims-nutrition-expert.html it seems that the five-a-day thing is just a myth or a marketing scam.

    July 12, 2012 at 15:07

    • Hi Amanda,

      There is a lot of evidence that vitamins help to prevent infections, both viral and bacterial. The definition of a vitamin is that they are essential to health. They are mostly in fruit and vegetables but we also need fat soluble ones from oils and fats. Recent research has shown that infection is involved in many cases of cancer and so anti- oxidants are thought to even prevent cancer. They seem to act as anti-inflammatory agents too. I’ll take a look at the Daily Mail article, but they do sensationalise things! They aren’t quite as bad as the Sun newspaper though!

      Thanks for the comment. I have just been to Lidl, people were moaning about a lack of choice in fruit and veg!

      July 12, 2012 at 15:45

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