1. Eat the fermented food
Ferments – foods that have been transformed by the action of living microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts and molds – are claimed by scientists to be beneficial for our health. They contain yoghurt, kefir and some cheese.
Any of these bacteria, when eaten as part of fermented food, pass through your digestive tract to support the trillions of microbes that already reside throughout your intestines.
However, not all fermented foods contain live microorganisms, so it is necessary to verify the label. For example, sauerkraut and kimchi can be made with vinegar, or pasteurized, which destroys bacteria, and, of course, many cheeses are pasteurized.
If you’re happy to make your own ferments in 2021, all you need is vegetables, such as cabbage, salt and water (and herbal and spice flavours, if any)
2. Allow any changes to your shopping cart
If you’re searching for new opportunities when you’re locked up at home, trying various foods could just be the thing. We consume a comparatively limited amount of foods, with only 15 plants supplying 90% of the world’s calories, even though there are more than 7,000 edible plant species. Consuming a wide variety of plant-based ingredients is considered to be healthy for the intestinal microbes as well.
Half of the UK’s vegetable consumption is made up of peas, tomatoes (yes, we know that this is technically a fruit), onions and carrots, according to the British Nutrition Foundation. These four veggies have a boost when it comes to nutrients, but different veggies have different quantities and variations of nutrients, so diversity is essential.
Rice, noodles and spaghetti are the firm classics. Yet pearl barley, spelt and quinoa are easy to prepare, too (and are grown by farmers in the UK).
Many citizens in the United Kingdom may not consume the minimum two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish. Fish not only supplies protein and a range of vitamins and minerals, but even oily fish – like trout, mackerel, sardines and new tuna – contain long chain omega-3 fatty acids, which research suggests are important for brain function.
3. Boss of batch cooking
If you’re low on time, delicious batch cooking can be the secret to enjoying home-cooked food all week.
It’s quick to double the ingredients when preparing curry, chili, roast, chilli, lasagna or cottage pie, and both of these recipes freeze well. But make sure to mark it before you place it in the fridge, because you know what you’re defrosting.
Food writer Hattie Ellis brings batch cooking to the next level by cooking just once a week, for about three hours, and then preserving meals in the refrigerator or freezer. “Choose your best time, download a podcast or turn on the radio, then chop, stir and taste,” she says.
4. Get the five of you a day
Less than a third of adults in England consume five fruits and vegetables a day in 2018. The average daily consumption is just over three and a half portions, so one more could be all it takes to meet your target.
One part is about 80g – a handful of heavier vegetables, such as broccoli and onions, or two handfuls of greens, such as spinach and kale. You can mix various fruit and vegetables to create a single pore.
You may be shocked by some of the ingredients that count against your five-a-day dinner. Beans and legumes are included, but no matter how many you eat, they never count as more than one serving because, while they are a decent source of fiber, they provide less nutrients than most fruits and vegetables. This means the toast beans and hummus add to count.
Dry fruit is contiguous to the five-a-day because it provides a lot of fiber, but the recommended serving size is 30g due to the density of calories and sugar. There is also a part (150 ml) of fruit juice or smoothie, but no matter how much you drink, it is never more than one portion because it is low in fiber and high in sugar.
Potatoes do not count because of their starch content, but they still contain nutrients, particularly in the skin. But sweet potatoes are on the five-a-day list, so mash down!
The top tip is to make a full-bodied breakfast or add fruit to porridge or overnight oats for a tasty five-a-day, friendly start to the day.
5. Cook from the bottom up
More than half of the food consumed by families in the United Kingdom is ultra-processed, according to a study released by Cambridge University Press. There are a lot of reasons why we’re going to get ready meals.
If you don’t think you can afford to cook from scratch, BBC Food has a budget recipe page filled with money-saving tips, delicious family classics and clever recipes for students.
If you’re new to cooking, try these simple recipes for beginners and how to prepare your videos. If you know what you want to cook, use the search bar above to search for it. If you want basic recipes, type “easy” in the search bar. These 5-ingredient dinners are another excellent place to launch.
There are fast recipes if you’re out of time. If you don’t like washing, there are one-pot dinners. If the Cho is