Take the pledge and Tryfor5 during National Nutrition Week!
Do you want to find out simple ways to help you eat better and feel well?
Get onboard and feel inspired to take part in the Tryfor5 Challenge and eat more vegetables.
Eating plenty of vegetables is the first step in promoting sustained healthy eating habits and better overall health and wellbeing. Eating 5 serves of vegetables as part of a well-balanced lifestyle is important for physical and mental health.
Health benefits of eating vegetables
Vegetables are nutrient dense providing a good source of vitamins (such as vitamin C), minerals (such as magnesium, folate), fibre and many phytochemicals (bioactive compounds). Vegetables are also relatively low in energy (Kilojoules) and consumption of vegetables is suggested to be associated with a reduction in weight gain. A diet rich in vegetables has also been showed to have protective effect against cardiovascular disease, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke as well as some cancers.
Eat a rainbow of vegetables
There are five colour categories for vegetables, these include: orange, red, purple/blue, white/brown and green. The phytochemicals found in vegetables provide that vibrant colour and many healthy properties.
Here are some examples of the variety of colourful vegetables containing potent phytochemicals that confer health benefits:
- Red vegetables such as capsicum contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that can keep your heart healthy and reduce cancer risk.
- Green vegetables such as broccoli contain the phytochemical constituent carotenoids, saponins and indoles which confer anti-cancer properties.
- Orange/yellow vegetables such as carrots provide the phytochemicals carotenoids and play an important role in eye health.
- Purple/blue vegetables such as eggplant contain the phytochemical anthocyanins which provide antioxidant properties reducing the risk of heart disease and cancers.
- Brown/white vegetables such as garlic contain phytochemicals including allicin which provides antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Selecting your vegetables
- Buy and serve a wide variety of vegetables to maximize nutrient mix, flavour and appeal
- Choose vegetables that are in season and locally grown. For spring time go for: Antichokes, onions, beans, lettuce, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, parsley, pumpkin, rhubarb, snow peas, bean shoots, zucchini, cauliflower, cucumber, leeks, spinach and mushrooms.
- Be creative and try something new! Check out the recipes available on the Tryfor5 website
- Add a rainbow of colours to your plate
Vegetable servings and portion guide
Australian adults should be aiming to consume 5 serves of vegetables a day. Only 4% of Australians are currently eating enough vegetable serves per day! According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines a standard serve of vegetables is approximately 75g (100-350kJ):
It is also important to consider the portion of your meals which may include carbohydrate, lean protein and vegetables/salad. Here is a guide for you to use to ensure you don’t overfill your plate:
For further information about cooking tips, recipe handouts and videos, and how you can add more vegetables to your diet, check out the Tryfor5 website: http://www.tryfor5.org.au/
Come by the Fitzroy, Pyrmont or Brisbane campus during National Nutrition Week (week 5 of the trimester) and see the Tryfor5 display located in the student lounge. We will be running fun nutrition activities such as a nutrition quiz, food sampling, and videos of cooking shows on screen and provide many handouts and recipes.
Dr Katie Canteri, Program Director – Nutrition
Registered Nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian
National Health and Medical Research Council. (2013). Australian Dietary Guidelines. Retrieved from https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines
Nutrition Australia. (2018). Take the Try For 5 Challenge during National Nutrition Week. Retrieved from http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/news/2016/09/take-try-5-challenge-during-national-nutrition-week
Nutrition Australia. (2018). Tryfor5: Small Change, Big Gains, Transforming Australia’s Favourite Recipes, Adding More Veg to Your Day! Retrieved from http://www.tryfor5.org.au/