Search

Seven-a-day: Our reporter tackles new recommended fruit and vegetable consumption

08:00 04 May 2014

Reporter Harry Kemble , with his seven a day.

Reporter Harry Kemble , with his seven a day.

Archant

For the best part of three decades the developed world has lived with the mantra we should be eating five fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

And the good news is that a study by University College London, published at the beginning of April, showed people who consume a higher amount of “fruit and veg” have lower risk of death from cancer and heart disease.

The academics said, however, that “five-a-day” was not enough. We should all be eating “seven-a-day”. It certainly came as a shock to me.

And before you snigger into your green tea, around two-thirds of adults in England fail to hit even the five a day target by consuming five 80g portions of fruit and veg every 24 hours.

Mark Ansell, acting director of public health for Havering Council, believes people should be encouraged to eat more fruit and veg.

“We should all try to eat more fruit and veg,” he said. “There are simple ways you can get more into your diet, try sprinkling berries on your morning cereal or porridge, dipping carrot or celery sticks in hummus or enjoying a delicious fruit smoothie.”

So I thought I’d try to be super good and attempt seven a day for an entire week. Before starting my diary of how eating ‘green’ went for me, it is important to put some perspective on matters.

According to the study, seven portions of fruit and veg cut the risk of death by 42 per cent, while five-a-day cuts the risk by 29 per cent.

I have to say that I did rush out and buy a bag of Pink Lady apples, grapes and bananas. This was the easy part.

With the “seven-a-day” routine even this array of fruit would still leave me well short of hitting the target.

On top of that a long Easter weekend lay ahead, with the temptations of those chocolate eggs and a roast with all the trimmings.

My task looked pretty daunting and, after all, Seven Kings is not renowned for its proliferation of Los Angeles style juice bars!

And as 80g is equal to two small satsumas and one apple or banana, then I was going to have to eat seven times that daily.

Each day I was left scrabbling around the house for a new variety of fruit to consume, just to provide variety in my diet.

And try as I might the fruit and veg I did find I often came nowhere near the seven 80g portions a day, which has been recommended by the World Health Organisation as well as UCL.

One dish recommended to me – Vietnamese Soup – contained broccoli, onions, bean sprouts and cabbage - delicious once I had tackled the surprisingly tricky instructions.

Although in my speed to cook dinner I failed to weigh the exact portion of vegetables going into each of my expectant family member’s bowls – I am sure it took care of half the seven portions of fruit or veg for that day.

As the week reached its climax I went to a classy café in central London and ordered a wake-up smoothie, costing £3.50, containing carrot, apples, ginger and spinach. The drink tasted surprisingly good, but not nearly as good as the cheaper alternative of homemade Vietnamese soup I had concocted a few nights before.

Kitchen aid mixers – or blenders as they are more commonly known – can cost anything from £50 to prices running into the hundreds. Yet they are an essential part of making your seven a day diet a bit of fun.

Vegetables and fruit can be mixed in them – even a spoonful of honey – to make a delicious sloppy mixture for breakfast, a snack, or even supper.

If you take this route the seven portions suddenly becomes achievable. And thank goodness that we don’t live in Japan where they recommend 17 a day. That would really have left me stumped.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

15:00
Police outside the home in Rainham Road, Rainham, earlier today. Photo: MPS Havering

Three men are in police custody after officers seized Class A and Class B drugs along with a large amount of cash.

13:51
Becci Smith who was crowned Miss London City on Saturday. Photo: Aida Photography.

Miss Romford says she is “overwhelmed” to add the title of Miss London City 2016 after being crowned the winner of the capital’s top beauty pageant.

The Jobbers Rest is soon to close to make way for a restaurant. Licensee Sharon Causton behind the bar

The very last pint will soon be pulled at a “community pub” after 30 years of serving its punters.

15:53
Gemma Karim 3 with mum Gemma and sister Ayshia aged 2 with bees

There was a buzz in the air at Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre yesterday as youngsters learnt how to look after bees and their habitat.

07:00
Hornchurch Nursing Home. Picture: Google Maps.

A registered nurse has been charged with serious misconduct after a panel of medical experts ruled she had “abused a vulnerable resident”.

Yesterday, 16:51
Ardleigh Green CC on Saturday morning

A cricket ground appears to have been vandalised after club members found the pitch covered in a black substance.

Yesterday, 14:50
Romford man Oliver appearing on Monday's First Dates. Picture: Channel 4

Millions tuning into the popular Channel 4 dating show last night would have seen a new round of singletons entering a swanky London restaurant hoping to be lucky in love.

Yesterday, 14:00
More rubbish has been dumped at Little Gerpins Lane over the weekend

Nearly “100 tonnes” of rubbish blocks a countryside lane after more rubbish was dumped at a notorious fly-tip hot spot over the weekend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now