Get your 5 a day: Madeleine Shaw’s foolproof tips

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Packing in the daily recommended amount of fruit and veg is simpler than you think

When you’re on-the-go all day or sat at an office desk, it can be much easier to grab a bar of chocolate or slice of colleague’s birthday cake than picking up a healthier alternative. But with new statistics revealing that one in 10 of us don’t get our recommended five-a-day allowance, nutritionist and health guru to the celebs, Madeleine Shaw, reveals her top five tips for packing fruit and veg in to your diet with ease – without missing out on the great tastes that can help pep up your day (and beat that dreaded 4pm slump).

1 A berry good start
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and adding a portion of fruit into the mix is the perfect way to super-charge your day ahead. A handful of yummy berries will naturally sweeten and add a pop of colour to a bowl of porridge, or whizzing a cup of strawberries in the blender with almond milk makes a quick and easy smoothie if you’ve got to run out the door. Even better: just one serving of strawberries (14g; about seven) provides your recommended daily amount of vitamin C, so it won’t take much to get a big boost.

2 Graze like a pro
Instead of reaching for sugary sweets or biscuits to accompany your mid-morning cup of tea, keep a pot of raw fruit or chopped veggies on your desk. You don’t have to annoy your boss by spending 10 minutes in the kitchen slicing everything up either; they’re quick to prepare the night before, store in the fridge and grab on your way out the door. Alternating between foods such as sugar snap peas, chopped carrots and a pot of mixed fruit adds a bit of variety and all will help keep your energy levels up until lunchtime!

3 Double up
Your lunch probably contains some veggies already, whether it’s a nourishing soup or some salad leaves paired with a juicy chicken breast. To maximise your recommended daily intake, double the quantity of vegetables you would usually put in and try to find new ways to incorporate leafy greens, whether it’s wilting some spinach into your soup or adding some sliced tomato to your avocado on toast.

4 Raspberries = recovery
Aiding your body and muscles in their repair after exercise is just as important as the actual working out. I like snacking on a punnet of raspberries or blending them into a shake – the phytochemicals in these little fruits not only give them their ruby rich skin, but also guard against exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and can help speed up recovery. So grab a handful of these little gems to give yourself a tasty pat on the back for all your hard work, and you might not feel as stiff the next morning, either.

5 Sweet eats
Everyone needs a treat every now and again, and opting for a fruit-based dessert rather than a slice of cake (however tempting it may be) can offer a light, refreshing and importantly naturally-sweet ending to dinner. Blueberries are bursting with nutrients – they’re packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, as well as being high in fibre. Add them to some yoghurt, or blend with some almond milk and chia seeds to make a delicious blueberry-flavoured chia pudding!

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