At least five and preferably eight is the result of two new research studies from Oxford University. In the first study 300,000 people from countries across Europe were assessed and it was found that eating at least eight portions reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 22% compared with eating less than three portions. The second study found that eating at least five portions could save 15,000 lives a year by reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke.
For menopausal women this is really important as the risk of heart disease and strokes increases dramatically as your female hormones reduce as you go through the menopause. Also by eating a wide range of plant foods including garlic, celery, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, apples, plums, cherries and rhubarb you are supporting your dropping oestrogen levels as these foods provide beneficial ‘phyto-oestrogen’ nutrients too.
So how to start eating more fruit and veg? The best way I know is to snack on fruit between meals (rather than the chocolate bars or biscuits) and at proper meal times make half your plate covered with vegetables. You might also like to think about some vegetable based recipes. Two of the favourites here at Menopause Support are for mushroom stroganoff and roasted red peppers. They’re delicious! If you'd like to have these recipes just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – enjoy!