Making veg the star!
We all know that veg are good for us: low in calories and especially fat, but packed with the good stuff like vitamins and minerals.
Alongside fruit, they’re so good for us that we’re advised to eat at least five portions a day.
Some say it should be ten a day though. And this shouldn’t be a surprise – increasing your consumption can significantly reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
The Department of Health thinks it’s the second most important cancer prevention strategy after reducing smoking, for example .
Veg are typically grouped with fruit, but they might be healthier:
- studies suggest that each daily portion of veg reduces the overall risk of death by 16%, compared to just 4% for each portion of fruit 
- whereas vegetable consumption is significantly associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and death from cancer, fruit consumption isn’t 
- because veg score higher on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index and contain fewer calories and more fibre than fruit, researchers at Stanford University believe that health messages should intentionally put veg ahead of fruit to promote intake and emphasize their importance 
health messages should intentionally put veg ahead of fruit to promote intake and emphasize their importance
Veg are apparently a lot more sustainable than fruit too, requiring just 322 cubic metres of water per tonne versus 962 .
Carrots are the perfect example of how great any one type of veg can be:
- they’re apparently nature’s richest source of vitamin A (via the precursor beta-carotene), which aids vision and the immune system, and keeps the skin healthy 
- they’re rich in soluble fibre, which has a whole host of benefits (look out for our next blog to find out more)
- they contain potassium, which lowers blood pressure
- and other vitamins and minerals
- and let’s not forget all those anti-oxidants, which remove destructive free radicals from the body before they cause the tissue damage that can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer 
Although not exotic or expensive, they really are a superfood! And even though they’re more traditionally used in savoury dishes, they can still satisfy a sweet tooth too. They were actually used as an ice-cream substitute during WW2 , and who doesn’t like Carrot Cake!
It’s no surprise that 34% of the c.5,000 people we surveyed said that carrots were their favourite veg.
Notable mentions should also go to cruciferous veg like kale and broccoli, and other greens:
- they’re generally associated with the strongest protection against major chronic diseases
- including up to about a 20% reduction in heart attacks for each daily serving 
- the sulforaphane cruciferous veg alone contain in high doses is a particularly promising anti-cancer agent , for instance
- and may also help to protect both the brain  and our eyesight , amongst other things
the sulforaphane that cruciferous veg alone contain in high doses is a particularly promising anti-cancer agent
Although some veg are “better” than others, however, they all typically have different nutrients, each with their own benefits.
So whilst quantity can be important (higher veg consumption may cut the odds of developing depression by as much as 62%, for instance ), it’s nevertheless important to eat as wide a variety as possible:
- mushrooms have nine times as much of the unique antioxidant ergothioneine (which can slow down DNA damage) as anything else for instance
- and tomatoes have significantly more of the particularly powerful antioxidant lycopene than any other veg
higher veg consumption may cut the odds of developing depression by as much as 62%
Yet despite their benefits, and the wide variety of options, most people don’t eat five portions of fruit and veg a day.
Only 29% of UK adults do, for instance, and only 8% of 11-18 year olds .
As the original advice was that eating five a day would help protect against common health problems, the failure to do so is likely to be a contributing factor to rising levels of obesity and diabetes, and other chronic diseases .
only 29% of UK adults eat five portions of fruit and veg a day, and only 8% of 11-18 year olds
So why don’t most people eat at least 5 portions a day?
Healthy food is often seen as expensive, but that’s not really the case. A kilo of carrots typically costs much less than a kilo of own-brand frozen chips, for instance.
The real problem is that less healthy food is often more convenient or enticing. It’s more widely available, easier to prepare or just tastier.
Veg are also typically less convenient to eat than fruit.
It’s easy to grab an apple to eat on the go without much mess, but you can’t say the same about most veg.
And whereas the higher sugar in fruit makes it naturally enticing to a lot of people, veg often needs additional flavouring such as herbs and spices to tempt the taste buds.
it was the lack of convenient and tasty veg based snacks that prompted us to develop the Veggie Bar
It was the lack of convenient and tasty veg based snacks that prompted us to develop the Veggie Bar.
Packing as much veg as possible into a tasty, convenient bar, it’s perfect for anyone hoping to feel fantastic.
Launching soon, it will be available in a range of both sweet and savoury flavours. So there’ll be at least one for everyone.
Whilst the sweeter ones are similar to fruit based bars, they’re lower in sugar and higher in fibre.
You can find out more about the importance of fibre in our next blog post. For now we’ll just say that it’s the only macro nutrient that we don’t eat enough of!
Each bar will also be 2 of your 5 a day.
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p.s. we love fruit too, but just think it’s about time that we made veg the star!