Published: 7th Feb 2020
Many of us get the new year off to a good start with resolutions about getting fit, taking more exercise and eating better.
But it is all too easy for our good intentions to go awry – so, this February, why not make a change?
Make a pledge to try to eat five pieces of fruit or vegetable every day to see just how much better it makes you feel.
And if you do feel healthier, more energised and generally happier with your diet you may decide to make a longer term lifestyle change.
According to scientists from Imperial College London, ensuring you eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease, as well as premature death.
A portion equals approximately one small banana, apple, pear or large mandarin; three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as spinach, peas, broccoli or cauliflower, also count.
The NHS says 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables can also be considered as a portion. Ideally, this should be in natural juice or water, with no added sugar or salt, however.
Likewise, 30g of dried fruit equals a portion but should be eaten at mealtimes, not as a snack to reduce the risk of tooth decay from the high natural sugar content.
Sadly, potatoes cannot be included but the good news is that 150ml of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie can be counted once – as can 80g of beans and pulses, including baked beans!
Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and improve the health of our blood vessels and immune system. This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold.
It is no surprise, therefore, that consuming more of them can also help boost your energy levels, increase your stamina and contribute to good mental well-being.
Those with busy lives, including people already with modelling jobs or hoping to become a model could well benefit from giving Five-A-Day February a go.
Try to include fresh fruit and veg in every meal and think about having them as snacks throughout the day.
Fashion models working for modelling agencies could pop a couple of apples or tangerines into their bags before they head out on a job and young teen models could grab a smoothie instead of a can of fizz.
Even baby models will benefit from being introduced to fresh produce at a young age rather than being brought up with a taste for sugary snacks and drinks.
Try to eat a rainbow diet throughout the day – tuck into fruit and veg of different colours as they contain different nutrients.
Make a packed lunch containing fresh fruit and veg to take out with you every morning: this will save you money as well as helping you stay healthy.
Finally, decide to give Five-A-Day February a go and see how you feel.
If you get into the swing of it over the coming weeks, then why not make it more permanent?
Eating well could help you become healthier and happier – and perhaps now is the time to start.