The recently released Australia's Health 2018 report found more than 99 per cent of children and 96 per cent of adults don’t eat the recommended intake of five serves of vegetables a day. Further research also found that 7.8 million deaths across the globe have been attributed to low intake of vegetables.
The findings are somewhat of a shock, given that Australia is one of the lucky countries where a huge variety of fresh fruit and vegetables are readily accessible and available every day.
Having a high intake of vegetables can result in a lower risk of heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes. In fact, for every 200 grams of fruit and veggies eaten each day, there’s an 8 per cent reduction in the risk for heart disease and a 16 per cent risk reduction for stroke, according to new research that uses data from 95 different studies.
And while some people confess they don’t eat veggies because they don’t like the taste or don’t have time to cook, the pros of a diet rich with fruit and vegetables far outweigh the cons.
Eating more apples, pears, citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables (such as bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, radish and swede), and leafy green vegetables is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and death. Something to keep in mind considering the leading cause of death of males in Australia in 2016 was heart disease.
As easy way to cook and incorporate a large variety of veggies into your life is the classic one-pan veggie bake. Simple grab a heap of veggies, chop them up, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven until golden. Need more taste? Try adding a simple cheese sauce, or adding garlic or flavoured oils to your pan of veggies.