The Harvard University Medical School states consuming fruit and vegetables on a regular basis helps to control blood pressure and cholesterol, keeps arteries flexible, protects bones, and is good for the eyes, brain and digestive system.
However, for various reasons, many people are not reaching their recommended intake of five serves of vegetables, and two serves on fruit, each day.
If upping your intake seems daunting, here's 10 fun ways to incorporate them into your menu.
Set an achievable goal
If fruits and veg aren't your thing, start off small. Try adding one extra fruit or vegetable a day to your diet. When you’re used to that, add another and keep going. Try giving meat free Monday a go with recipes like this Barley, leek and mushroom risotto as an easy way to start your week with a hearty serving of veggies.
Try adding finely grated carrots or zucchini to pasta sauce, or even replacing the meat completely, like with this delicious recipe for Pasta with mushrooms and lentils. A hearty winter stew is another way to pack your veggies in without over-thinking it.
Try something new
It's easy to get tired of apples, bananas and grapes. Try a kiwi, mango, pineapple, or another of the more exotic choices available canned or fresh at your grocery store. Incorporate fruit into your next meal and add a whole new level of flavour, like with this recipe for Spiced barbecue pork with pineapple.
Blend it up
Smoothies and freshly squeezed or pressed juices are a great on-the-go breakfast or afternoon snack. You'll get a big dose of nutrients while enjoying a naturally sweet treat while saving loads of sugar. This Cranberry and apple-pie smoothie really hits the spot - it's packed with five different fruits and contains no added sugar.
Cut up some veggie sticks and serve them alongside a healthy, plant-based dip for maximum benefits. Try our homemade Roast capsicum hummus as a delicious snack or entertaining option.
Try using smashed avocado in place of butter on your sandwiches or toast. You can also mash it up with onions, tomatoes and chillies to make this Guacamole with toasted cumin and lime.
Kickstart your day
Swap your morning pastries for eggs and veggies. Try starting your day with this Cauliflower and brie omelette. Or amp up your morning porridge with a handful of fresh berries or dried fruit, like with our Pear porridge with cranberry compote.
Roasting your veggies is easy and brings out new flavours. Experiment with root vegetables like parsnip, sweet potato and carrots, and add a dash of olive oil, honey or balsamic vinegar for extra flavour. Try this nutrient packed Quinoa and roasted buttercup salad as a balanced side for your next lamb roast.
Ditch the prep time
If peeling, cutting and chopping aren’t your thing, food companies and grocers offer an ever-expanding selection of pre-prepared produce.
Try it with chocolate
Add some creamy, sweet goodness to your fruit like with these Bananas with chocolate and hazelnut sauce . You'll get a hit of antioxidants while jazzing up your fruit.