Simple switches to get more vitamins and minerals

You can get everything you need from a nutritious, balanced diet.

Eating more fruit and vegetables is the best way to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals and nutrients!

They contain antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E and beta-carotene, which work to prevent damage to your arteries. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to take supplements to get enough antioxidants unless they are prescribed by your doctor. As always, it’s about trying to get a balanced diet so it’s a good idea to try to eat a range of foods containing the vitamins you need.

To get more antioxidants, aim to eat a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables. You could try carrots, apricots, berries, broccoli or yellow peppers. The naturally occurring mineral potassium can help prevent high blood pressure. Eating more fruit and vegetables is a great way to increase your potassium levels too. Bananas, nuts and potatoes are rich sources, but all vegetables and fruit contain potassium. Over-the-counter potassium supplements should only be taken on medical advice as they can be harmful, especially for older people.

Here are 4 simple switches to get you started:

1. Replace salty crisps and sugary chocolate with healthy snacks, like a piece of fruit, raw carrot/celery sticks with some hummus, or some dried fruit and unsalted nuts.

2. Choose a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables. This will help you to get a range of vitamins and minerals including antioxidants. Think about green leafy vegetables, orange and red fruit and vegetables like carrots and peppers, and dark purple foods like blueberries. Potatoes are classed as a starchy food, not a vegetable, but the skin still provides useful fibre and potassium.

3. Canned fruit and veg count towards your five a day too and will increase your vitamin and mineral intake. Be sure to choose fruit in juice rather than syrup though, and vegetables in water without salt or sugar.

4. Frozen vegetables and fruit are full of the same nutrients and fibre as fresh. Why not try adding some frozen berries to porridge in the morning, or frozen chopped vegetables to a home-made pasta sauce as part of your evening meal!


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