Help yourself and the planet - eat more fruit and veg.

Off the back of a recent six week plant based course we undertook with the University of Winchester, we wanted to share with you one of the key takeaways about health and diet. I think it is common sense to most people that your general health, to an extent, is governed by the way you look after yourself. And in turn the quality of your diet directly impacts your health.

This mini article directs itself towards helping you understand how a poor diet can directly influence your health and how in turn your choices have wider positive (or negative) implications for the planet as a whole. It definitely isn’t telling you what to do, but if you are thinking of making changes we hope this gives you more evidence as to why and how you should go about it. We would also thoroughly recommend the Plant Based Nutrition Course – with the University of Winchester. It costs a bit and takes 6 weeks to complete, but it is very enlightening and dispels all the fads about diet, whilst providing fully researched information about the best way to live a long and healthy life.

Tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and excessive alcohol are - according to the WHO - still causing in the region of 12 million premature deaths per ... in low and middle income countries. The basic cause of some of these chronic diseases (such as coronary heart disease, cancer or diabetes) is inflammation, oxidative stress (often reported as free radicals - think reactive chemicals) and poor gut biology - to point out that this is just a glimpse of the subject is a significant understatement.

To understand that your health isn't just a direct correlation with your BMI is a big step forward. The quality of the food you eat has a direct impact on your body, so the way it reacts, interacts and cascades through your system needs to be recognised. It really does make you stop and think twice and give a different perspective on dietary choice. To know that the food you eat isn’t just energy but a support system for your mental health, immune system, cell health and integrity - thereby influencing your overall long term health - makes dietary patterns and choice so much easier. It takes perspectives away from short term fads and fixes to long term lifestyle decisions.

Ten reasons why you need more fruit and veg in your life.

1. Plants and fruits are nutrient dense whilst low in calories. You will feel more satiated more quickly and take on less calories. Quite often people who make dietary modification towards a plant based diet lose weight even though this wasn’t a goal.

2. Plant based dietary fibre assists the body in digestion and feeds a diverse array of gut healthy bacteria – it helps to produce short chain fatty acids which support good stomach health.

3. Less frying, more steaming means less harmfully reactive compounds going into your body.