Health Matters



Your health matters, therefore take care of your body - you are what you eat. 



Men are more likely to understand the following analogy –Would you put the wrong fuel in your car and risk damaging the engine?

The same applies to food.

Why risk damaging your body by eating the wrong foods?

Bowel cancer is more prevalent in men than women, so please take heed.

If health matters to you, make fruit and vegetables part of a balanced diet .  These will provide us with vitamins, minerals and fibre - all-important ingredients for keeping healthy.


These foods do not count.

    * Potatoes, including chips and crisps

    * Orange squash or fruit drinks

    * Jams and marmalade

    * Fruit cake

    * Tomato ketchup

    * Fruit flavoured yogurts

Fresh fruit and vegetables are included as part of our health matters tips. One portion is equivalent to about 3 ounces (80 grams) or a heaped handful. It should be easy to picture the amount needed for one portion whether preparing food for a child or an adult. Some examples are shown below.

The following will give an idea of some of the foods to choose as one of your Five-A-Day items:

1 medium apple

1 medium pear

2 medium plums                           

1 portion of canned peaches

1 handful of grapes

1 medium banana

7 strawberries                    

3 whole dried apricots

7 cherry tomatoes

1 cereal bowl of salad      

3 tablespoons cooked kidney beans

3 heaped tablespoons of peas

12 chunks of canned pineapple

2 satsumas

1 cereal bowl of salad

3 tablespoons carrots

Maybe a portion of grated carrot in a salad

2 broccoli florets

3 heaped tablespoons of sweetcorn

1 tablespoon of sultanas or raisins  

As you can see – just a case of mixing and matching - good judgment and common sense. Also, you will probably be able to think of many more items you would like to eat that suit your particular taste if your health matters.

It doesn't need to cost you more to follow these eat well tips for fruit and vegetables - just try and stick to those that are in season. For a cheaper buy look out for special offers in the local markets and shops.  Often, because everything is now 'date' coded in supermarkets, fruit and vegetables are often marked down in price just for this reason.  They are still perfectly OK to eat. 

Question:  Right!  I now know the eat well tips means keeping healthy - how can I eat more fruit and vegetables along with my usual intake of fish and meats? 

No problem. If you are a porridge fan add a tablespoon of sultanas to the mix before cooking, then when cooked and in the cereal bowl, slice an apple over the top of the porridge.  This way you have accounted for two of your minimum of five servings and your day has only just started.  If you prefer packaged cereals, choose the low sugar and low salt varieties and add some fruit as a topping.  Remember, your health matters.

Grapefruit is good when topped with a small amount of sugar and popped under the grill for a couple of minutes.

Have a banana or some dried dates for your mid-morning snack.  Dates are particularly good for a quick energy boost as well as keeping your tummy and bowel working well.  Bear in mind that each date contains the equivalent of 4.5 teaspoons of sugar.

A few almonds will help you to feel full particularly if you drink a glass of water whilst you are eating them.

Lunch could either be a tuna or ham sandwich with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, coleslaw, beetroot with our Pick and Mix salad.

The evening meal is easy.  If you are having a pizza, add some extra chopped peppers, mushrooms or courgettes.  If you are serving a cheese omelette, or fish, or meat, just serve with carrots and broccoli cooked together in the same pan. Then, in the winter there is always that famous standby – vegetable soup, which was surely designed for the five a day diet.  You can add extra vegetables to almost any soup.  Be careful not to incorporate too many tinned soups in your diet as these are usually heavy on salt which is definitely not recommended.  Just concentrate on these health matters tips and you will not go far wrong.

Keep a fresh bowl of fruit where the family can see it.  This is easier than searching out the biscuit tin, which could always miraculously be low on supply - even empty!

Try the following to encourage children to eat their five fruit & vegetables a day

    * Make vegetables interesting by threading them onto a skewer and grill or BBQ them to make vegetable kebabs. (Hot tip - sprinkle fruit kebabs with brown sugar to caramelise and make them more tempting:  Another tip here – put a sheet of kitchen foil in the grill pan to catch any drips from the vegetables and fruit that are being grilled, this cuts down on the washing-up.

    * Make desserts fun by getting the kids to make their own banana boats, fruit sundaes, and Knickerbocker glories.

    * Let them make their pizza  using a slice of bread and get them to add cooked onions, tomatoes and chargrilled peppers and mushrooms and a cheese topping.

    * If they don't like the look of vegetables, try pureeing vegetable soups so they can't recognise the lumpy bits.  Their health matters and they rely on you!

    * Serve up veggie burgers in buns with a slice of tomato, gherkins and a thin portion of cheese for variety.

    * Add soft fruit and bananas to ice cream and whiz in the liquidiser to make fruit smoothies.

    * Chop vegetables into interesting shapes and use them for vegetable and pulse based dips such as tomato salsa, houmous and guacamole.

   * If you can involve the children in preparing their own food and guiding them towards fruit and veg, because they have prepared it themselves they are more likely to eat it, and of course, will be eating well.

Remember any meals made with tinned vegetables and tinned tomatoes are also counted as portions of vegetables.

Although the Government recommend eating 'five-a-day' - if you can increase this to nine different items of fruit and veg, so much the better.  Your health matters.

Save Money - Get the Most from Fruit and Vegetables

To get the most out of your fruit and vegetables that you choose and how you store them is important. Overcooking also greatly reduces the nutritional content and wastes fuel. 

Choose produce that is not bruised or damaged. Where possible store in a cool dark place and then ripen at room temperature.

Green peppers will stay fresh longer than the coloured ones.  This is because the amount of oxygen in the green variety.

Choose a packet of frozen vegetables where the produce doesn't feel 'stuck' together - it has probably been defrosted already and this will reduce the vitamin and mineral content. Store in a freezer at below -18°C.  Check the packet to see how long it can be kept.  This is a ‘play-safe’ guide for the manufacturers.  Remember Scott of the Antarctic – his food kept remarkably well for a very long period! 

Choose tins that are free from dents or rust. Store in a dry cool cupboard. Once opened, empty any unused contents into an airtight container and store in the ‘fridge. Eat within two days.

Choose packaging that is not damaged. Store out of direct sunlight.

Use the tips here and you will soon be on the right track to keeping healthy!



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