What gets measured gets the attention. That’s what you learn in management studies. And it’s true; there’s nothing that quite focuses the attention than having something to aim for. It’s very motivating!
So when I’m counting we’ve regularly exceeded 50 different fruits, veg and herbs a week – and all of them fresh.
And it’s really not as hard as you might think.
But first, let me tell you why we do this.
- When it comes to reducing inflammation we have a huge resource of antioxidants and flavonoids in fruits, vegetables and herbs. For example, there are over 4,000 known flavonoids and all of them work to protect our bodies from free radical damage. Also, different plant foods have different antioxidants and flavonoids but they work together. In the same way an orchestra wouldn’t sound great with just violins and flutes, so we need lots of variety when it comes to fruits, vegetables and herbs in order to gain the greatest benefit.
- The good bacteria in our guts, known as our microbiome, thrives on the variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs. The more varied our diets, the more varied our good gut bacteria. And gut bacteria is key in the battle against chronic inflammation.
Not only that but they all taste great and make varied, colourful and hugely appetising meals and snacks!
Struggling to think how you can increase your intake? Here are the options we select from each week. The list doesn’t contain everything as there are some we’re not a huge fan of (believe it or not!) – so if you like samphire or okra feel free to add them to your list!
|Asparagus||Choi sum||Peppers (bell – red)|
|Aubergine||Courgettes||Peppers (bell – yellow)|
|Baby gem lettuce||Cucumber||Potatoes (baby)|
|Bean sprouts||Fennel||Potatoes (large)|
|Broccoli (purple sprouting)||Greens||Rocket|
|Broccoli (tenderstem)||Kale||Romaine lettuce|
|Brussel sprouts||Leeks||Runner beans|
|Butternut squash||Mangetout||Salad leaf|
|Cabbage (red)||Mushrooms||Sugar snap peas|
|Cabbage (savoy)||Onions (red)||Swede|
|Carrots||Onions (spring)||Sweet potatoes|
|Cauliflower||Onions (yellow)||Tomatoes (cherry)|
|Celeriac*||Pak choi||Tomatoes (large)|
|Chinese leaf||Peppers (bell – green)|
*Vegetables that are major allergens
|Grapes (green)||Melon (water)||Pomegranates|
Herbs & spices
So how do we do it?
- Salads are a great way to pack in a whole range of plant goodness. Check out the recipe for our favourite salad, which includes a whopping 10 different vegetables, fruits and herbs.
- Stir fry vegetables; we use a little coconut oil, our vegetable(s) of choice chopped up, a dash of boiling water, some salt and pepper – and Bob’s your uncle! We often add a little chilli, garlic or ginger for extra flavouring. Great combos are courgette or pak choi with garlic, kale with ginger, celery* and fennel, broccoli and cauliflower, french beans and tenderstem…
- Tray bakes with a mix of meat and onions, pepper, sweet potatoes, courgettes…
*Celery is an allergen
Check out my recipes section for more inspiration