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It doesn't have to cost a lot to get your 5 A DAY. Here are some cheaper ways to stock up on fruit and veg.
Read our top tips on how to include more fruit and vegetables in your diet while still saving money.
10 top tips to get 5 A DAY on a budget
- Buy fruit and vegetables loose rather than pre-packaged. Loose fruit and veg can be as little as half the price.
- Fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper if they're in season. You can find out what is in season at the Love British Food website's page on seasons.
- Fruit and vegetables are often cheaper at your local street or farmers' market. You can find your nearest one in this directory of farmers' markets.
- Replace your morning or afternoon snack with a piece of fruit. A banana or an apple costs around 20p at the supermarket, about half the price of most chocolate bars or packets of crisps. The savings add up and so do the health benefits.
- Don't throw away vegetables that are about to go out of date. Use them in stews, soups and casseroles, which you can freeze and eat another time.
- Look for supermarket deals on fruit and vegetables, such as buy one get one free offers.
- Look for good deals on frozen and dried fruit and veg, such as frozen peas and dried pulses and beans. They are often cheaper than fresh varieties.
- Swap ready meals for homemade alternatives. Vegetables in dishes such as stews, bakes, casseroles and curries count towards your 5 A DAY, and cooking these dishes yourself is often cheaper than buying them ready-made.
- Stock up on canned fruit and vegetables. They count towards your 5 A DAY and won't go off, so you can buy them in bulk. Buy canned fruit and veg, in water or fruit juice, without added salt or sugar. Supermarket own-brand varieties are usually the cheapest.
- Cook in bulk and freeze portions to eat another time. For more meal ideas, go to 5 A DAY recipes.
Got a question about 5 A DAY?
Around 40% of people have at least one digestive symptom at any one time, according to Dr Anton Emmanuel, consultant gastroenterologist at University College Hospital in London.
The most common are:
"These are the big four and they’re so common that we take them for granted," said Dr Emmanuel.
"Most digestive problems are to do with lifestyle, the foods we’ve eaten, or stress. Which means that taking steps to change your lifestyle can help, and often prevent, many of these problems," he said. "And there’s a wide choice of pharmacy remedies for heartburn, indigestion and similar problems that are very good for the short-term relief of symptoms."
Some medicines can upset your tummy
Certain medicines that your doctor may have prescribed for you for other health conditions can lead to side effects that may upset your tummy and cause indigestion, diarrhoea or constipation.
Aspirin and medicines used to treat arthritis, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), should be avoided if you have an ulcer or you get indigestion. Consult your doctor if you rely on these medicines and are also prone to indigestion or ulcers. Paracetamol is a useful alternative.
Certain tranquillisers, painkillers, iron tablets and cough medicines can cause constipation and some people get diarrhoea while taking antibiotics or blood pressure pills.
Always inform your doctor if your prescribed medicines are upsetting your tummy.
Red flag digestive symptoms
Dr Emmanuel warned that although digestive symptoms are usually harmless and often settle down by themselves, they can sometimes persist and be a signal of serious illness.
"People tend to underestimate how serious their symptoms are and that’s frustrating for doctors as we often see patients with gastrointestinal conditions later than we’d like, sometimes only when they’ve had their symptoms for years. If we could see them earlier we could, with treatment, improve their quality of life immensely," he said.
He advised anyone who has taken a pharmacy remedy for a digestive problem for two weeks with no improvement to consult their GP.
He also highlighted five "hardcore" symptoms, which mean you should see a doctor without delay. These symptoms may be an alarm warning of a serious digestive illness: