89% of adults don’t eat enough fruit & veg: How to ‘spring clean’ your health

Dietitian explains the health benefits of fruit and vegetables

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Having a healthy weight and body is all about consuming the right nutrients, moving the body and getting enough sleep. Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer gave her six essential tips for dieters hoping to spring clean their bodies, based on a health study from Alive!.

Suzie issued a warning: “Over half (54 percent) of Brits believe their diet could be healthier.”

What’s more, less than one third (29 percent), exercise five or more days per week, with 16 percent “never” doing 30 minutes of physical exercise on a weekly basis.

She stated: “All bad news for our health and wellbeing.”

Her first top tip for slimmers who want to “spring clean” their health and lifestyle was to “spring colour your diet”.

As discovered by Alive!, only 21 percent of adults eat vegetables every day, with only 19 percent eating fruit the same amount.

“Spring is a great time to incorporate more colourful, fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables into the diet.

“Warmer weather produce, such as purple sprouting broccoli, sweet peppers, courgettes, rocket, and salad leaves are all packed with micronutrients the body needs and thrives on.”

Suzie’s next top tip was to “love your gut”, as 18 percent of people said that their digestive health is “worse” or “much worse” post-pandemic than it was before.

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With people leading busy lives, grabbing food to go rather than spending time prepping meals, nutrition can become an afterthought.

“A staggering 89 percent of UK adults struggle to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables in their diet every day.”

Of this huge number, a whopping 20 percent “never” manage it.

Suzie recommended: “Taking a high-quality multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement daily helps bridge any dietary gaps, including that all important Vitamin D.

“This is essential to our health, especially as many of us struggle to eat a healthy, well balanced diet.

Another health issue the nation faces is that alarmingly, one quarter of people admitted to “frequently” taking time off work or cancelling social events due to digestive discomfort.

Suzie explained: “Winter bugs and infections requiring a course of antibiotics may well have left your gut in need of support.

“Your gut bacteria also play a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system so include live bacteria in your diet with yoghurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha.”

And looking after your gut doesn’t just reap physical benefits but mental ones too: “A healthy gut communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and wellbeing.”

As well as implementing these healthy diet changes, slimmers need to ensure that they’re getting enough physical activity.

Any activity that gets your joints and muscles moving can help, whether it’s “taking a walk around the block or spending some time gardening”.

Not only is it good for the waistline, “exercise engages all of your senses, and it has a big effect on your mood and self-esteem”.

Suzie called on people to unleash their inner “Sleeping Beauty”, as 20 percent of adults sleep less than six hours a night, as opposed to the recommended seven to nine hours.

“Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge and repair, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Good sleep is also essential for a robust immune system.”

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