How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

You have probably heard the advice to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Most of us have but do you really know what that means? I work in the field of obesity and weight control and I wasn’t sure myself. Does it mean three veggies and two fruits? Four veggies and one fruit? Five fruits and five veggies? Which? Then what does a serving mean? It’s all very confusing.

So I went out in search of answers. I found that there is not only confusion among the experts but now the guidelines have been changed by the CDC. They have a new slogan now too called “More Matters.” This is replacing five a day.

We know that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is important for good health and weight control. According to the CDC:

Compared to people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts — as part of a healthy diet — are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases. These diseases include stroke, Type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and perhaps heart disease.

I talked to noted nutritionist, Rachel Beller RD, founder of the Beller Nutritional Institute, and here are the guidelines she gave me:

When it comes to getting “real protection” from eating fruits and vegetables, I prefer to go along with a more protective approach that the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends. It’s not about getting five a day, it’s about getting at least five a day, as a minimum requirement. I encourage my patients to aim much higher and go for seven to 10 standard servings a day. (Approximately 4-5 cups) If you think about it, a serving isn’t that much. A serving would be:

• 1 medium piece of fruit

• ¼ cup of dried fruit

• ½ cup (4 ounces) of 100% fruit or vegetable juice

• 1 cup of leafy vegetables

• ½ cup of cooked or raw vegetables

My overall approach is to go heavier on the vegetables, (approximately 5 servings) and lighter on the fruit (approximately 2-3 servings). And fresh is always best!

Most of us don’t get the recommended amount. In this report published by the CDC you can see state-specific trends in our fruit and vegetable consumption. These trends do not look good. I believe this is a large part of why our country is currently so heavy. As a food addiction therapist, I see very clearly in my clients, and myself, that when we replace the processed white sugar, white flour, high fat and high salt foods with fresh, whole foods, we eat less calories, stop compulsively overeating and lose weight. We need to make fresh fruits and vegetables a staple in our daily diets. Whole grains are lacking in our American diets as well. We need to be eating more brown rice (not white), whole grain breads and cereals, quinoa, couscous etc.

If you’re confused there is now a better way to determine what you need. We are not all the same as far as our weight, age, activity level and caloric requirements. So the advice to eat five a day might be good for a 150 pound person but maybe not enough for a 225 pound person and too much for a 100 pound person. For a more accurate accounting of what you need you can try this handy calculator from the CDC’s website. It allows you to put in your age, sex and activity level and will give you more of a personalized approach to your daily fruit/veggie requirements.

If you’d like to contact Irene you can find her here.

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Five servings. That is all the fruits and vegetables you need to eat every day to live longer, new research suggests.

Scientists analyzed data from more than 2 million people in the United States and dozens of other countries and found that eating about five servings of fruits and vegetables a day was associated with the lowest risk of early death, and that the optimal balance was two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day.

Compared to people who had two servings of fruits and vegetables a day, those who had five servings a day had a: 13% lower risk of death from all causes; a 12% lower risk of death from heart disease and stroke; a 10% lower risk of death from cancer, and a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Eating more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day didn’t provide additional benefits, according to the study published March 1 in the journal Circulation.

But meeting that five-a-day goal may be harder than you think, since only about 1 in 10 adults eat enough fruits or vegetables, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“While groups like the American Heart Association recommend four to five servings each of fruits and vegetables daily, consumers likely get inconsistent messages about what defines optimal daily intake of fruits and vegetables such as the recommended amount, and which foods to include and avoid,” study author Dr. Dong Wang said in a journal news release. He’s an epidemiologist and nutritionist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The researchers also found that not all fruits and vegetables were protective. Green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, lettuce and kale) and fruits and vegetables rich in beta carotene and vitamin C (such as citrus fruits, berries and carrots) were beneficial, but starchy vegetables such as peas and corn, fruit juices and potatoes were not associated with lower risk of death from all causes or certain chronic diseases.

Continued

The investigators determined that “not all fruits and vegetables offer the same degree of benefit, even though current dietary recommendations generally treat all types of fruits and vegetables, including starchy vegetables, fruit juices and potatoes, the same,” Wang said.

Overall, the findings support the evidence-based public health messages that people should have five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, according to Wang.

“This amount likely offers the most benefit in terms of prevention of major chronic disease and is a relatively achievable intake for the general public,” he said.

More information

The Harvard School of Public Health has more on fruits and vegetables.

SOURCE: Circulation, news release, March 1, 2021

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

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“Eat your veggies!” It’s a chorus you’ve probably heard ever since you were little, but if you’re like most Americans, it doesn’t have much effect. Most adults in the United States fall short of eating recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. The amount of fruits and veggies you’re supposed to eat depends on your age and gender, but if you’re not getting enough, adding a little at a time to your diet can make a big difference.

According to the USDA’s MyPlate, men should eat 2 cups of fruit per day and 2½ to 3 cups of vegetables. Women should eat 1½ to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 2½ cups of vegetables.

How Much We Really Eat

According to a 2015 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vast majority of Americans do not eat recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables every day. More women meet the recommendations than men, perhaps partly because men are supposed to eat more fruits and vegetables than women. More Americans meet fruit recommendations than veggie recommendations. Overall, however, only about 12 percent of Americans eat as much fruit as they’re supposed to every day, and less than 10 percent eat enough vegetables.

Why So Few?

The CDC report speculated on several reasons why Americans weren’t meeting their fruit and vegetable intake recommendations. Cost of fresh fruits and vegetables was one potential reason, and limited availability of fresh produce was another. More people aged 50+ met the recommendations than young adults between the ages of 18 and 30, which could mean that older adults have more time for meal planning and preparation or that they have more money to spend on produce.

How Much Fruit to Eat

According to the USDA’s MyPlate, men should eat 2 cups of fruit per day and women should eat 1½ to 2 cups. In general, the following amounts count as a cup:

  • 1 cup of cut-up fruit
  • 1 cup of 100 percent fruit juice
  • ½ cup of dried fruit

How Much Vegetables to Eat

MyPlate specifies that men should eat 2½ to 3 cups of vegetables and women need 2 to 2½ cups. These count as 1 cup of veggies:

  • 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup of vegetable juice
  • 2 cups of leafy greens

Try to eat a variety of veggies each week, including servings from the various groups: leafy greens, red and orange veggies, starchy vegetables, beans and peas.

The Importance of Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables are primary sources of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that people need to maintain healthy weights and reduce the risk of several chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. All fruits and veggies have beneficial nutrients, and different colors tend to contain different phytonutrients, so it’s best to eat a wide variety.

Getting More Fruits and Vegetables

Need to eat more fruits and veggies? There are simple ways to add some to your diet without making huge changes. Consider packing single pieces of fruit, such as apples or bananas, as snacks to munch on at work. For recipes, use canned or frozen produce when fresh isn’t available. To get a bunch of fruits and veggies at a time, blend them together into a smoothie that you can take on the go. If time is an obstacle, buy prewashed and precut veggies to quickly add to soups, casseroles and stir fries.

  • CDC.gov: Disparities in State-Specific Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
  • Better Health Channel: Fruit and Vegetables
  • ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Much Fruit is Needed Daily?
  • ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Many Vegetables are Needed?

Carly Schuna has been freelance writing and editing for more than a decade. Her specialty areas are health, wellness and fitness. She’s written and published hundreds of recipes and nutrition-focused articles for clients ranging from health food producers to exercise equipment manufacturers. In her spare time, Carly enjoys staying on top of current nutrition research and testing new recipes.

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

By Mayo Clinic Health System staff

Is it a challenge for you to eat all five servings of fruits and vegetables every day? The 1-2-3 approach can help you pack in all your servings — and more — throughout the day. Get six servings by eating:

  • 1 serving with breakfast
  • 2 with lunch
  • 3 with dinner and snacks

Remember that the serving size for fruits and vegetables is about 4 to 6 ounces. However, measurements for one serving can differ depending on the food, such as:

  • 1 cup of raw or cooked fruits and vegetables
  • ½ cup of legumes
  • 3 cups of leafy greens

When you add fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks, you’ll find that getting six servings can be easy and fun. Use these ideas for each mealtime:

Breakfast

  • Make a smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit. You can add a handful of spinach or kale.
  • Mix berries and chopped fruits into pancake, muffin and waffle batter.
  • Top your cereal, oatmeal or yogurt with berries, peaches, apples and bananas.
  • Add vegetables, such as peppers, onions, spinach and peppers, to omelets, hash browns and breakfast potatoes.
  • Bring a piece of fruit for an on-the-go breakfast.

Lunch

  • Add extra vegetables to your sandwich or wrap. If you are eating out, ask for extra vegetables.
  • Make homemade vegetable soup for lunch. If you choose to buy soup from the store, compare nutrition labels and choose the option with the lowest amount of sodium.
  • Build a salad with at least 3 cups of leafy greens. You can add chopped up vegetable and fruit for added flavor.
  • Use leftover vegetables from last night’s dinner as a side dish.
  • Top a baked potato with salsa or broccoli.

Dinner

  • Make a stir fry for dinner with lots of vegetables.
  • Grill vegetables with a minimal amount of oil or oil spray on a kebab. Try grilling fruits, including peaches, pineapples and mangoes.
  • Add extra vegetables to pasta sauces, casseroles and soups. Mix onions, peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers and spinach into these dishes.
  • Steam, microwave or roast vegetables for an easy side dish. You can use either fresh or frozen veggies.
  • Keep frozen and canned foods on hand to easily add to meals.
  • Incorporate fruit into your dessert. You can add it to gelatin desserts, make a parfait or have raw fruit.

Snacks

  • Keep raw veggies at your desk for an easy snack.
  • Pack dried fruit in your purse or pocket to take with you during the day.
  • Dip apple slices or baby carrots in small amounts of peanut butter or almond butter. Try sprinkling cinnamon on apple slices.
  • Put fruits and vegetables in easily accessible locations, such as the front of your fridge or counter, which will stop you from reaching for unhealthy foods when you’re hungry. If you’re low on time, try buying prepared trays with fruits and veggies that are already washed and cut.

Remember that when it comes to fruits and vegetables, more is always better. Don’t be afraid to go over the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eating more of these foods can help crowd out higher-calorie foods.

Find other blog articles on eating healthy, exercise and losing weight to help you achieve better health.

Hoi is a mobilist who blogs about technology trends and productivity. Read full profile

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

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Eat too much meat? Want to increase your daily helping of dietary fiber, nutrients and goodness from fresh fruit and vegetables? Then this lesson is for you. A lot of our bad diets are caused by habits that we need to break. This Free Lifehack lesson will set up the foundations for you to get into a healthy eating habit and get you onto the road of a nutritious diet. All you have to do to access the lesson is sign up to Lifehack Lessons.

Here’s an excerpt from this lesson

We all know why you need to eat five servings a day, but for many of us the real challenge is how to do it. Today we are going to take a look at some simple strategies that you can use to get from zero to five servings or more in no time at all. So now lets talk about your meals.

Follow the tasks and with some solid meal planning, a little bit of forethought and some judicious shopping you can get your fruits and veggies in without too much stress or fuss.

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More by this author

Hoi Wan

Hoi is a mobilist who blogs about technology trends and productivity.

Trending in Health

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Hoi Wan

Hoi is a mobilist who blogs about technology trends and productivity.

Trending in Health

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

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We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Fruit and vegetables are particularly important for older adults, but incorporating them into your diet can be difficult.

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

Seniors are better than younger people at making their servings of fruits and vegetables part of their diet, but that’s still not saying much. According to a review published in August 2013 in the journal Maturitas, only 21 to 37 percent of men and 29 to 45 percent of women ages 65 and older eat five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, which is the minimum amount recommended for good nutrition.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is especially important as you get older, because the nutrients and fiber in these foods can help reduce high blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, stave off eye and digestive problems — and simply satisfy your hunger.

How Big Is One Serving of Fruit or Vegetables?

Before you try to eat an entire bunch of bananas or a bushel of apples, know this: One serving of fruit or vegetables equals half a cup, or about the amount you could hold in a cupped hand. Nutrition experts used to recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but that’s probably not enough, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individual needs are different, so depending on age, gender, and level of physical activity, you’ll require between 5 and 13 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.

To help determine your specific needs, visit the CDC’s fruit and vegetable calculator.

Meeting Your Healthy Eating Goal for Fruits and Vegetables

Follow these simple tips for increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat each day:

  1. Add fruits and vegetables to your favorite dishes. Find ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into foods you already eat. For example, stir fruit into your cereal or yogurt, add strawberries or blueberries to your pancakes, pack your sandwich with extra veggies, add vegetable toppings to your pizza, stir greens into your favorite casserole or pasta dish, or stuff your omelet with extra vegetables.
  2. Display your produce. Put your fruits and vegetables out on the counter or in a prominent position in the refrigerator, so that you’ll be more likely to eat them.
  3. Try new things. Next time you go to the grocery store, pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try.
  4. Cook vegetarian. At least once every week, skip the meat (you could join in on Meatless Monday) and try a new vegetarian recipe for dinner.
  5. Snack away. Try snacking on fresh or dried fruit, carrot and bell pepper strips with a low-fat dip, or baked chips with fresh salsa.

Why We Eat Less as We Age

As you get older, certain age-related changes can make it more difficult to get the fruit and vegetables you need, such as:

  • Difficulty chewing Some people have dental problems that make it harder to chew, resulting in a reduced interest in eating.
  • Changes in taste Your sense of taste can change as you get older, so you may avoid some of the foods you used to enjoy.
  • Mobility problems For older people who are no longer able to drive, it may be difficult to get out and shop for fresh produce.
  • Lack of motivation to cook If you live alone, you may not feel like cooking just for one.
  • Changes in appetite For many people, getting older means that you just aren’t as hungry as you used to be.

To get the most out of the fruit and vegetables you eat, aim for variety. Eat many different types of fruits and vegetables, in a rainbow of colors. This will help ensure that you get the variety of nutrients your body needs for healthy aging.

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

By Mayo Clinic Health System staff

Is it a challenge for you to eat all five servings of fruits and vegetables every day? The 1-2-3 approach can help you pack in all your servings — and more — throughout the day. Get six servings by eating:

  • 1 serving with breakfast
  • 2 with lunch
  • 3 with dinner and snacks

Remember that the serving size for fruits and vegetables is about 4 to 6 ounces. However, measurements for one serving can differ depending on the food, such as:

  • 1 cup of raw or cooked fruits and vegetables
  • ½ cup of legumes
  • 3 cups of leafy greens

When you add fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks, you’ll find that getting six servings can be easy and fun. Use these ideas for each mealtime:

Breakfast

  • Make a smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit. You can add a handful of spinach or kale.
  • Mix berries and chopped fruits into pancake, muffin and waffle batter.
  • Top your cereal, oatmeal or yogurt with berries, peaches, apples and bananas.
  • Add vegetables, such as peppers, onions, spinach and peppers, to omelets, hash browns and breakfast potatoes.
  • Bring a piece of fruit for an on-the-go breakfast.

Lunch

  • Add extra vegetables to your sandwich or wrap. If you are eating out, ask for extra vegetables.
  • Make homemade vegetable soup for lunch. If you choose to buy soup from the store, compare nutrition labels and choose the option with the lowest amount of sodium.
  • Build a salad with at least 3 cups of leafy greens. You can add chopped up vegetable and fruit for added flavor.
  • Use leftover vegetables from last night’s dinner as a side dish.
  • Top a baked potato with salsa or broccoli.

Dinner

  • Make a stir fry for dinner with lots of vegetables.
  • Grill vegetables with a minimal amount of oil or oil spray on a kebab. Try grilling fruits, including peaches, pineapples and mangoes.
  • Add extra vegetables to pasta sauces, casseroles and soups. Mix onions, peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers and spinach into these dishes.
  • Steam, microwave or roast vegetables for an easy side dish. You can use either fresh or frozen veggies.
  • Keep frozen and canned foods on hand to easily add to meals.
  • Incorporate fruit into your dessert. You can add it to gelatin desserts, make a parfait or have raw fruit.

Snacks

  • Keep raw veggies at your desk for an easy snack.
  • Pack dried fruit in your purse or pocket to take with you during the day.
  • Dip apple slices or baby carrots in small amounts of peanut butter or almond butter. Try sprinkling cinnamon on apple slices.
  • Put fruits and vegetables in easily accessible locations, such as the front of your fridge or counter, which will stop you from reaching for unhealthy foods when you’re hungry. If you’re low on time, try buying prepared trays with fruits and veggies that are already washed and cut.

Remember that when it comes to fruits and vegetables, more is always better. Don’t be afraid to go over the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eating more of these foods can help crowd out higher-calorie foods.

Find other blog articles on eating healthy, exercise and losing weight to help you achieve better health.

Hoi is a mobilist who blogs about technology trends and productivity. Read full profile

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

  • Share
  • Pin it
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Eat too much meat? Want to increase your daily helping of dietary fiber, nutrients and goodness from fresh fruit and vegetables? Then this lesson is for you. A lot of our bad diets are caused by habits that we need to break. This Free Lifehack lesson will set up the foundations for you to get into a healthy eating habit and get you onto the road of a nutritious diet. All you have to do to access the lesson is sign up to Lifehack Lessons.

Here’s an excerpt from this lesson

We all know why you need to eat five servings a day, but for many of us the real challenge is how to do it. Today we are going to take a look at some simple strategies that you can use to get from zero to five servings or more in no time at all. So now lets talk about your meals.

Follow the tasks and with some solid meal planning, a little bit of forethought and some judicious shopping you can get your fruits and veggies in without too much stress or fuss.

  • Share
  • Pin it
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Read Next

More by this author

Hoi Wan

Hoi is a mobilist who blogs about technology trends and productivity.

Trending in Health

More by this author

Hoi Wan

Hoi is a mobilist who blogs about technology trends and productivity.

Trending in Health

Read Next

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

4 Signs You Have a Victim Mentality (And How to Break out of It)

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

How to Find Your Core Values to Live a Fulfilling Life

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

No Motivation? 7 Great Ways to Overcome Loss of Motivation

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

How to Increase Willpower and Be Mentally Tough

Last Updated on March 24, 2021

How to get to five servings of fruit and veg per day

  • Share
  • Pin it
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

We all know we should be eating five portions of fruit and veg every day – but which fruit and veg, and in what proportions? A new study has some answers

Photograph: fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Photograph: fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Last modified on Tue 2 Mar 2021 18.34 GMT

Name: Five-a-day.

Age: Does it matter? I Just got Pfizered, first dose. Looking good for a good few years yet.

Not you, it, the subject. I’ll tell you. About 33 years old. Five-a-day was dreamed up in California in the late 80s. Are we talking fruit and veg? As in the various campaigns across the world to encourage people to eat better, for healthier and longer lives?

No, I’m talking a light-to-moderate smoking habit … yes, of course I mean five portions of fruit and veg a day. Are you getting them? Well, there was the mid-morning bar of Fruit & Nut, then the chips with the takeaway at lunchtime – extra large, so that’s two, isn’t it? That makes three in total so far …

Not even one, and you know it. I do; it’s been hard over lockdown. I’m going to do better, starting now. New leaf getting turned over – it’s going to be a green one – and after turning it over, I’m going to eat it.

Excellent. Kale? Oh, God, does it have to be? Kale tastes like cardboard.

It doesn’t have to be kale. Though some veg (beetroot, radish) are better than others (corn, potatoes), according to a new study. Sounds interesting. What does it say?

First off, that the five-a-day rule is linked to a lower risk of death, particularly connected to heart and respiratory disease, and cancer. No shallots, Sherlock. I think even I knew that. Where’s this from, some PR firm working for greengrocers?

Harvard University, actually. In the US? What do they know about eating healthily over there?

Quite a lot, even if they don’t actually do it. Only about one in 10 Americans eat two portions of fruit and three of vegetables a day. Yeah, well maybe some have three fruit and two veg.

Well, this is where it gets really interesting. These Harvard scientists have gone one better than the five-a-day rule – they’ve broken it down further, and come up with a golden ratio, the perfect combination of fruit and vegetables. Which is?

It’s still two servings of fruit, and three of vegetables! OK, OK, I’m going double it, four fruit, six veg. Make that six and nine, I’m gonna live for ever …

I’m gonna learn how to fly, Fame! But actually no need. The study also finds that eating more of either isn’t linked to increased longevity. Cancel the kale, quick. For ever. Apart from John, and JJ.

Do say: “I’ll have the lettuce, beetroot and radish salad, please. Followed by an apple. Plus a few grapes on the side – 16 in fact, that’s about a portion.”

Don’t say: “Just kidding, bring on the T-bone! Extra fries.”