There’s one fact that doctors, nutritionists and researchers all agree on: a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is essential to good health. But how much should you eat?
Imagine, for a moment, that your doctor tells you about a miracle treatment that can prevent common diseases of the heart, brain and eyes, enhance your mental health, and ward off diabetes, stroke and cancer. What’s more, it has no side effects and the cost is covered by your weekly grocery bill. Oh, and it makes you live longer. It sounds too good to be true, right? If that medicine existed, surely everyone would be taking it.
It does, and they’re not.
Turns out, an apple a day really does keep the doctor away...though you might want to add a couple of carrots, a handful of broccoli, some peas and a banana. In recent years, a whole bunch of major research studies have shown that fruit and veggies start to protect your health and lengthen your life in a significant way when you eat at least 14oz a day - equivalent to about 5 cup-sized servings.
The benefits get even greater if you eat more, but researchers have found that just 5 servings a day is enough to lengthen your life expectancy and reduce your risk of:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease & stroke
- type 2 diabetes
- some types of cancer
- macular degeneration & cataracts
- cognitive decline & Alzheimers
- depression & anxiety
It’s that easy: eat more fruit and veggies, live a longer, healthier life. It’s one of the few things that all nutritionists and medical experts seem to agree on. But as many as 9 out of 10 people in the US are not reaching their daily minimum, according to a 2017 CDC study. And in the UK, 3 out of 4 people don’t get 5-a-day. Either the message isn’t getting through, or it’s just really difficult to fit all those fresh fruits and veggies into our modern lifestyles.
We think both those things are true. That’s why we’re doing our best to spread the word that 5-a-day is the easiest way to feel better and live longer. Even more importantly, we’re making it easier for everyone to top up their fruit and veg intake, on the go. Each individual packet of kencko, made up into an 11oz smoothie, supplies at least 2 of your 5 a day. That’s because it’s made from more than 2 cups of whole, fresh fruit and veggies, and nothing else. We don’t add any sweeteners, flavorings or preservatives, and we don’t take anything out except water. By flash-freezing the raw ingredients, then slowly drying them, we lock in all the essential nutrients and the gut-friendly fiber, so we can deliver it to you in a format that lasts 6-12 months instead of days.
Remember, 5-a-day is the minimum recommended intake. In Japan, where people live longer than anywhere else on earth, they add about two more servings to the daily goal. And in France, where food is almost a religion, they aim for 8-10 a day. The health benefits appear to increase along with your intake, with the greatest effect seen at 10 a day.
But please don’t panic if you aren’t hitting your 5-a-day yet! The good news is that any additional fruits and vegetables in your diet make a difference, especially if you swap out something less healthy, like meat or processed snack foods. Our top tip: try to get at least one serving with breakfast - whether it’s spinach with your eggs, berries with your cereal or a quick kencko smoothie. Start the day that way, and you not only get a head start on your daily fruit and veggie goal, you’ll also feel more motivated to choose fresh and healthy foods throughout the day.
Ways to 5-a-day
- A serving is equivalent to about a cup, or the contents of your cupped hands.
- As a general rule, aim to eat more veggies than fruit.
- One glass of kencko counts as 2 servings. Corals and greens have the highest veggie content, followed by yellows.
- And you’ve probably heard the advice to “eat a rainbow” - what you may not know is that different colors indicate the presence of different nutrients, so including a variety of colorful produce isn’t just easy on the eye, it’s great for your health, too.
Here are some more suggestions for getting your daily dose of plant power. Happy eating!
One serving of fruit could be:
1 apple, banana, orange or pear
A cup of chopped melon, pineapple or mango
6 or 7 strawberries
2 kiwi fruit, satsumas or plums
A cup of cherries or berries
Half a grapefruit
Half a cup of unsweetened dried fruit (raisins, apricots, etc)
One serving of veggies could be:
A cup of cooked kale, spinach or other greens
2 cups of raw salad greens
1 ½ celery sticks, a 2-inch chunk of cucumber, or a medium carrot
A cup of broccoli or cauliflower florets
1 medium tomato, or 6-7 cherry toms
3 asparagus spears
A cup of grated/spiralized carrot or zucchini
An ear of sweetcorn