How Can I Eat All That? Easy Ways to Include More Fruit and Vegetables in Your Diet

Olwen Anderson asked:

Here is how you can easily eat the right amount of fruit and vegetables every day:

First, the fruit. Ideally, you should have two to four serves of fruit every day, preferably fresh raw fruit rather than tinned, dried or processed. ‘One serve’ of fruit is:

- one piece of whole fruit, like one whole apple, banana or peach. Or
- one large wedge of fruit, like a large wedge of watermelon or rockmelon. Or
- ¾ cup of fresh fruit juice. Or
- ¼ cup of dried fruit.

You can use any combination to add up to the right number of serves. However its better to choose fresh raw fruit more often as its higher in fibre and more filling. Avoid dried fruit as a fruit serve as it is very high in natural sugar.

Here are some ideas to help add plenty of fruit into your diet:

- Top your breakfast porridge with a banana
- Enjoy a piece of fruit for morning or afternoon tea
- Make up a colourful fresh fruit salad for dessert

Now, the vegetables. You need five serves every day, at least two of these serves as green vegetables, and at least one of your serves should be an orange vegetable. “One Serving” size is ½ cup chopped vegetables, or one cup of leafy vegetables.

Here are some ideas to help you fit plenty of vegetables into your day:

- Enjoy your breakfast egg on a bed of wilted spinach rather than toast
- Plan to make a large raw salad one of your main meals. Add some protein for a complete meal.
- Instead of a pie and chips for lunch, order a salad sandwich from the local takeaway.
- Make up a delicious vegetable soup for your evening meal.
- Enjoying some evening drinks and dips? Make up a platter of carrot and celery sticks, and use these for the dips rather than biscuits.

The easy way to fit all this food into your day is to focus your menu fruit and veg first, then look for other foods to go with it. Here is a sample diet for a day:

Breakfast: Poached egg and baked beans with wilted spinach, or porridge topped with a banana.

Morning tea: Fresh apple or orange with a handful of nuts

Lunch: Salad sandwich with chicken. Fresh fruit to follow.

Afternoon tea: Hummus or beetroot dip with carrot and celery sticks

Dinner: Poached salmon with steamed potato, pumpkin, and broccoli. A colourful fruit salad for dessert.

There, easy isn’t it! Happy eating!

Fruit and Vegetables Provide A Level of Nutrients Well Beyond Our Expectations

Janet L. Matthews asked:

Vegetables should always be a vital part of our healthy eating regime. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals as well as being an excellent source of natural fiber.

Vegetables can be classified in many different ways, but Professor Heber, the director of the University of California Los Angeles Center for Human Nutrition, divides foods into 7 colour groups: red, red/purple, orange, orange/yellow, yellow/green, green, white/green. Each color group describes the properties of that group and the affect it can have on the health of the individual

•    The red group eg tomatoes, provide lycopene;  believed to have anti cancer properties

•    the red/purple group eg grapes, provide anthocyanins; believed to have antioxidant and protective effects on the brain and heart functioning

•    the orange group eg carrots, provide alpha and beta-carotenes; believed to help against lung cancer and support the immune system

•    the orange/yellow group eg tangerines provide cryptoxanthins; believed to help with the maintenance of healthy vision, reproduction and body tissues

•    the yellow/green group eg avocado provide lutein and zeaxanthin; believed to reduce the risk of macular degeneration

•    the green group eg broccoli provide isothiocyanates and indoles; believed they may have anti cancer properties

•    the white/green group eg celery provide allicin; believed to act as an antibiotic in the body and have anti cholesterol benefits

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can provide the body with all these phytonutrients provided they are consumed on a daily basis.

So as you can see fruit and vegetables are a major part our healthy lifestyle and offer not only vitamins ,minerals and phytonutrients, but also add color and variety to your meal. They offer so much in the way of variety to the look and the taste of the meal and should be eaten regularly both lightly steamed and also raw.

Essential Oils – Mandarin – An Imperial Chinese Fruit Produces a Quality Essential Oil

Linda Lee Smith asked:

Mandarin (Citrus riticulata) is in the citrus family of botanical plants. The essential oil comes from cold expression of the peel and is produced primarily in Madagascar and Italy. This is yet another citrus fruit. It is a small fruit, orange in color with a taste somewhere between a tangerine and an orange. This fruit was named for the Imperial Chinese Mandarins. It was traditionally used for digestive problems. Often you will find that aromatherapists will interchange tangerine and mandarin essential oils. Both these fruits have the same latin name and the chemistry is almost identical.

How Can Mandarin Essential Oil Be of Benefit to Us Today?

Mandarin has many wonderful healing properties. It is antispasmodic, good for the digestion, is antifungal and stimulates the gallbladder. It can be used for fluid retention, insomnia, anxiety, intestinal problems, skin problems, scars, acne, and stretch marks (if blended with other oils like jasmine, lavender, sandalwood or frankincense). Mandarin can be diluted 50-50 and applied on location, applied to the chakras/vita flex points on the feet, directly inhaled, diffused or taken internally. As for safety, mandarin is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing. However, this is another phototoxic oil and therefore should not be applied to the skin that is then exposed to UV rays of the sun or a tanning bed.

Want to learn more about the healing properties of mandarin and other essential oils? Consider becoming a certified aromatherapist. Educational courses in healing energy and aromatherapy can help you understand how essential oils heal the body/mind/spirit. The institute of Spiritual Healing & Aromatherapy teaches courses across the United States on aromatherapy and energy healing.

Banana Nutrition

Chantel Danis asked:

Bananas are native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia and Australia. Banana plants are of the family Musaceae and are cultivated mostly for their fruit, and sometimes for the production of fiber and as ornamental plants. Bananas are tall, upright, and fairly sturdy. They are often mistaken for trees, however they are not.

They grow in hanging clusters of about 20 fruit known as a bunch or banana stem. They are 2 specific varieties that are well known and they are the green banana and the plantain which is usually cooked first hand. They also come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple and red.

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, giving the body a boost of energy. Bananas are also a valuable source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. Vitamin B6, also referred to as B complex is a water-soluble vitamin. It helps the body to convert carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), which is “burned” to produce energy. They also help metabolize fats and protein and play an important role in maintaining muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and promoting the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.

The most widely known vitamin is vitamin c. Again, a water soluble vitamin that is essential for the production of bones and connective tissue. This vitamin also helps with the absorption of iron. It is also an antioxidant, meaning it bonds with free radicals in the body that may damage cells like cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature aging.

Potassium chloride (KCl) is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. Potassium is a natural diuretic that helps your body excrete water and sodium, thus promoting healthy cardiovascular health and regulating water balance. It also plays a role in muscle growth and contractions, nerve cell function, and protein synthesis.

As you can see, bananas offer tremendous nutritional value and should be a part of your every day regime.

Eat them raw or cook up some delicious recipes and reap the benefits.

Mangosteen FAQs

Kevin Stith asked:

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit tree. Its fruit is made up of outer layer called rind (or pericarp), an interior fruit, and large seeds. It is believed to have originated in tropical countries such as Thailand, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Q: Is mangosteen in any way related to mangoes?

A: Although there is a resemblance on the names because both fruits come from the same family (Guttiferae), as far as the appearance, taste, texture, and other chemical characteristics are concerned, mangosteen and mangoes are quite different from each other.

Q: I heard mangosteen contains chemical compounds called Xanthones. What is it?

A: Xanthones are a very stable chemical compounds. They perform strong antioxidizing activities. Xanthones are very versatile because they share the same structure, molecularly speaking, but each one is unique in terms of molecular side chains. Different varieties of xanthones perform a specific biological bodily function.

Q: How much Xanthones are there in mangosteen?

A: Mangosteen contains over forty natural Xanthones, with the pericap having the richest concentration. Take note that Xanthones rarely occur in nature, that is why the rich existence of Xanthones is what makes mangosteen unique and popular. Besides this, mangosteen also contains a lot of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and bioflavanoids.

Q: How do I make juice from mangosteen?

A: Mangosteen juice is made by liquefying the seeds, rind, and flesh of the mangosteen. Manufacturers of the juice reveal that the whole mangosteen fruit is used in their juice blend. This would mean that they do include the pulp, pericap, and the seeds.

Q: What is the recommended daily intake of the mangosteen juice?

A: The truth is, there is no actual number that can be stated here. Some suggest that an ounce daily is already enough for one’s nutrition for both adults and children. However, many people do take larger amounts and do not complain about overdose. Hence, this is more of a personal point and depends on how much your body can take in.

It’s All About Bananas – Why Bananas Are Considered an Anti-Fattening Fruit

Manuel McDaniels asked:

So is there a truth behind the craze that hit Japan? Ever heard of the Morning Banana Diet? This was a diet regimen that was created by an Osaka pharmacist, Sumiko Watanabe for her husband who was trying to lose weight but was unsuccessful every time he tried. What made this program earn its reputation as an anti-fattening fruit? This article will be all about bananas-facts and how the Morning Banana Diet works.

• This diet is relatively simple to follow. This requires the person to eat only banana/s in the morning for breakfast plus a glass of lukewarm water as breakfast in the morning. The person is allowed to eat whatever he/she decides to eat for the rest of the day. However, he/she is not allowed to eat beyond 8 o’clock in the evening. This regimen however is not recommended for everybody. Heath experts discourage people suffering from constipation and those whose potassium intake needed to be regulated.

• It is as anti-fattening fruit: The secret to this fruit as an effective way to lose weight if the fat that it is filling despite the fact that it contains small amount of calories and very minimal fat. You can eat banana without the worrying about fat being absorbed by your body. It is also known to be rich in fiber. Fiber helps flush out unwanted fat. It is also known to aid in metabolism.

• Other health benefits: Aside from its anti-fattening property, there are also other health benefits which makes this fruit worthy of the attention. It contain potassium (for lower blood pressure), vitamin C (strong resistance), vitamin B6 (essential for brain function) and magnesium.

According to the numerous people who have lost pounds using this diet regimen, Banana is an anti-fattening fruit!

Creative Breakfast Ideas Involving Fruit

Amy Nutt asked:

The American Dietetic Association stresses not only the importance of breakfast, but the quality of breakfast foods consumed. A nutritious breakfast will give you a healthy start to your day. Fruit is one important food that should be included in one’s breakfast as it is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants.

The following is a list of creative breakfast ideas involving fruit:

1. Spread peanut butter on a small pita and wrap it around a banana. Make sure you get your calcium with a large glass of cold milk.

2. Have a delicious waffle that is topped with berries and yogurt.

3. Fill a pita with fresh fruit and cottage cheese.

4. Have a scrambled egg or omelet sandwich with a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Have a fresh banana with it.

5. For a light breakfast, have a muffin or English muffin with a fruit spread, a banana, and a glass of milk.

6. Have a fruit smoothie made in a blender. One recipe is:

Berry Banana Smoothie

1 frozen banana, peeled and cut up
1/4 cup fresh or frozen berries (such as raspberries, blackberries and/or strawberries)
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons plain yogurt

Preparation: Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

7. Have a delicious fruit salad. Cut up all your favorite fruits in a bowl. Add yogurt or honey. Add some granola on top. You can also try the following recipe:

2 cups cubed cantaloupe
2 large red apples, chopped
1 cup red or green grapes
1 medium banana, sliced
1/2 cup lemon yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Preparation: In a bowl, combine the fruit and mix. Combine the yogurt and orange juice and sprinkle it over the fruit.

8. Make some pancakes and add fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.

9. Have a parfait that includes layering granola, yogurt, and fruit in a parfait dish.

10. Make a toasted bagel topped with cream cheese and fruit slices such as berries.

11. Have a healthy fruit Hodge Podge:


1 honeydew melon cut up into chunks
1 banana cut into pieces
1 apple cut into pieces apples
50g of a granola cereal
2 tablespoons yogurt

Combine all ingredients. You can also use your own favorite fruits.

12. You can try this Breakfast Fruit Cobbler:

2 Cups of fresh, canned or frozen fruit
Place fruit in a baking dish sprayed with cooking oil.

2 Tablespoon sugar
1 Teaspoon cornstarch
2 Teaspoon water or (juice from the canned fruits)
1/2 Teaspoon lemon juice

Mix together and pour over fruit in dish.

1/2 Cup quick cooking oats
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon or (1/4 Teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 Teaspoon of nutmeg)
1/4 Cup cold butter

Preparation: Mix together cutting in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit in dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes 4 servings

A nutritious breakfast includes fruit which is a great source of fiber. Being creative with your breakfasts will make your food more enjoyable and give you the necessary fuel to take on the day.

Real Acai Fruit Smoothies – Good For Health

Mohita Bhargava asked:

Smoothies are all time favorite. People just keep trying new healthy combination that are not only nutritious but also very tasty. Before we move ahead and discuss about the different types of smoothies available in the market, lets us know what it is. Basically, they are a blended, chilled beverage made using fresh fruits like pineapples, apples, mango, lemon, blueberry, chocolate strawberry banana smoothie and others. Smoothies have milk shake like consistency.

In addition to these fresh and tasty fruits, these days the smoothies include crushed / flaked ice and frozen yogurt also. To make them a complete health drink, some restaurants, cafés and coffee shops have started using different add – ins like soy milk, whey powder, herbal supplements, green tea and other nutritional supplement mixes.

The yummy taste of this healthy drink has attracted the attention of many. Specially the food lovers … they just want to experiment and have something new each and every time. To keep up the words ” that smoothie is healthy”, now acai smoothies are also available. Acai is a fruit found in Brazil. It has lot many health benefits and is known for strengthening the immune system, promoting sound sleep, cleaning and detoxifying the body, improves circulation, enhances visual acuity and much more.

Well you won’t be finding this as a fresh fruit in your area, because the food stays fresh only for a day. May be, you can go in for some fozen acai berries. These berries can be used for making a smoothie that is rich in vitamins and minerals. The fruit has antioxidant properties and can be used by anyone. If you have plans for making an acai smoothie then here is the recipe for use. It is simple to make. All you need is your favorite mixture of ganola, fruits like acai, mangoes, raspberries, pineapple, banana, pineapple and other fruits you like. Cut them into the pieces, and blend them. Then in a bowl add all the ingredients. Your favorite acai fruit smoothie is ready. It is rich antioxidant and keeps you energetic throughout the day.

In case you don’t have the time, to prepare one at home, then go in for a ready made one. They are equally healthy and would be coming soon on line. The market has all the incredible ones like Prox Acai Smoothie, Acai AX Smoothie and much more.

A Beautiful Fruit Basket is the Perfect Gift

Greg Scott asked:

A fruit basket will brighten the day of someone in your life. Whether they are recovering from an illness or simply in need of a boost, they will really enjoy it!

Fruit gift baskets are typically made with various fruits organized with ribbons and  bows to decorate them. Customizing a fruit basket can be easy! Make the gift of a  fruit basket mean more by decorating it with things they like and the fruit they love!

If the person that you are going to give the fruit basket to loves strawberries and kiwi, fill it up with those two fruits and they are sure to love it. What is their favorite color? Chose ribbons in their favorite colors or pick some ornaments that fit the theme that you are going for to decorate the basket.

While other people are receiving the normal gift of flowers, you can give the gift of  a fruit gift basket and really surprise them! Flowers are nice to look at but they are  not as nice as a fruit basket. The fruit gift is an original gift.

As a gift for someone recovering from an illness, fruit can not only make them feel better by lifting their spirits. Fruit is full of essential vitamins that can aid them in feeling better and recovering more quickly from their illness.

As a gift to an office coworker, the fruit basket can be shared by many people. They can open the fruit basket and share it among their peers or take it home and share it with their family. They could also leave it at their desk and have a healthy snack just waiting on them whenever the need for one comes up.

Have you ever wanted to get a gift for your boss but are just not sure what to get him? He would not appreciate a flower bouquet as much as a female boss would. You are not sure if he is fond of a certain sport or team. Why not give him the gift of healthy fruit.

The fruit gift basket is a very versatile gift and will be appreciated and enjoyed by anyone who receives one. When you are considering gifts for that special someone or for that person that you do not know so well, consider the fruit basket. A gift basket designed particularly for someone is a very unique gift or just simply make it a collaboration of fruit. Either way, it is sure to be enjoyed!

Or for those who enjoy wine, you could consider a carefully chosen wine basket.

7 Healthy Tips For Your Kids Lunchbox!

Richard Marc asked:

Next time you pack your child’s lunchbox, take a look inside. How many different options of foods have you given your little one and what is the ratio of healthy food to junk food? It is so important to include a variety of healthy foods and snacks for your child to eat whilst they are at school. But sometimes it can be difficult to come up with new ideas for the lunchbox.

So to help, here are 7 healthy tips for your kid’s lunchbox:

1. Keep it healthy – Fill the lunchbox with a variety of healthy foods. Be sure to include plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and try using a variety of different breads such as wraps or rolls using wholemeal or multigrain bread. Add protein fillers such as meats or fish and include dairy products.

2. Make it fun – place pieces of fruit in clear zip up bags and write a note or joke to your child on the front. This will make them excited about opening their lunchbox to see what note is left each day. Cut sandwiches in different shapes (quarters, circles, smiley faces).

3. Make it colourful – ensure there are plenty of fruit and vegetables in their lunchbox so it is colourful and healthy: – such as a ham and tomato sandwich, a fruit salad, vegetable sticks (carrot, cucumber), homemade muffin, cheese and crackers, juice, water.

4. Easy to eat – Cut up pieces of fruit for your child so it is easy for them to eat. Such as watermelon (cut into cubes), apples (quarters), kiwi fruit (circles), orange (quarters or peel the skin in a circle motion forming a long snake like ring that sits on the orange until your child is ready to eat it. Then they pull off the skin to eat the orange and the skin is in a snake ring – makes it fun for kids!)

5. Dunk & Dip! Cut up some cucumber, carrots or celery into small sticks and include cherry tomato. Then place all the vegetables into a container. In the middle of the container add a dip such as hommos or cheese. Make it fun for the kids, so they can dunk their food into the dip.

6. More than just cheese and crackers – When packing cheese and crackers as a snack option, opt for a cheese that you can cut yourself instead of pre-packaged. This way it gives you the freedom to choose a healthy cheese option and also to include add ons. Use a container from home and cut up some cheese and include cherry tomatoes, cucumber (cut into circles) and include crackers. That way the kids are getting more then just cheese and crackers.

7. Leave the junk out! – if you do not put junk food into your child’s lunchbox high chances are they won’t eat it! So leave out the junk and replace it with healthy foods such as fruit, vegetable sticks, yogurt, cheese or healthy muesli bars.