It’s starting to go a bit fuzzy around the edges, this challenge. I’m definitely eating a lot of fruit and veg. Whether it’s at least 7 a day is less definite. The counting is driving me mad. It’s bad enough trying to work out what went into a meal my husband made (so, one carrot each, or one between us…? You used a whole pepper? How many mushrooms? What do you mean you didn’t count them?), let alone going out to eat. Yes it’s a tomato salad, but do these slices add up to a portion? How much of a butternut squash is hiding in this tapa? I feel a maths migraine coming on…
Is it worth it? Hell yes. Whilst trying to wrap my head around portion sizes and such, I’ve read a fair bit about how and why I should be doing all this. Cancer-proofing – that’s why. Or indeed heart disease-proofing. Basically, disease-proofing yourself via the humble vegetable. I know! Pass me the broccoli!
The basic equation is more fruit/veg = less disease. Recent studies have everybody pretty convinced that each portion of veg you eat a day reduces your risk of disease by 16% (fruit only made 4% difference though, hence more veg than fruit is better). Those smug 7-10 a day types who fill Facebook with photos of salad, are 25 per cent less likely to die from cancer and 31 per cent less likely to die from heart disease. With that in mind, I propose just eating as many fruit and veg as humanly possible. Once I’m done with this infernal counting (for blogging purposes), that’s precisely what my target will be. Just shovel it in. Shovel it in and reap the benefits.
Finally, I’d like to share two secret weapons I’ve discovered in 7-a-day-eating:
1. 1 tablespoon of tomato puree counts as a portion! You can cook with it, yes… or… you could spread it on something. Or… just spoon it in your gob (slovenly option. Yes, I’ll be taking it).
2. This website is excellent for finding out what exactly a goddam portion of kumquats or whatever looks like.