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Top tips to boost energy according to pharmacist and herbalist Gerald Quigley

In the nutrition world, there has been a growing discussion and movement towards ‘plant forward’ or ‘plant-based’ diets—including the many environmental and health benefits involved in ramping up your veggie intake.

With only 4% of Australians who eat their recommended amount of vegetables each day[i] (5-6 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit [ii]), it’s no wonder such conversations are taking place.

This National Nutrition Week 2019—Nutrition Australia has made it their mission to encourage healthy eating by educating consumers on how to try for five servings of vegetables each day. This includes learning about food waste management and breaking stereotypical vegetable consumption habits[iii].

Here to explain how we can all get more out of our vegies is Gerald Quigley—who is a Leading Pharmacist and Community Herbalist. Gerald is well known for his unique view of health from a holistic perspective, and is passionate about promoting healthy eating that starts at home and can extend to additional energy boosting ingredients through supplementation.  

1 Embrace ‘ugly’ vegetables

It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of fresh fruit and vegetables in Australia are deemed as ‘waste’ before it even leaves the farm due to imperfections[iv].  If you’d like to save money – and the planet – investigate some of many options now available to purchase ‘ugly’ or ‘discarded’ fruit and veg. Grocery stores, online food delivery companies, and even people growing their own vegetables are embracing ugly vegetables, since they are equally as nutritious, more economical and better for the environment[v].

2. When vegies start to turn, use them for hot dishes

Stop before you throw fruit and veg out. Produce which is starting to wilt can make great, hot nutritious meals. While produce that smells, is mushy or has visible signs of rot or mould should be tossed out—fruit and vegies that don’t have these signs of spoilage are safe and have great potential for a second meal life. Try putting capsicum, mushroom and onion that are looking wilted on top of a pizza for an extra kick of textures and flavour, or do a vegetable round up in a hot and delicious vegie casserole. Over ripe bananas make a tasty and nutrient rich banana bread, while apples that are starting to brown can be used for a flavour packed apple pie.

3. Buy only what you need

We waste a lot of food each year – around 20 per cent of the food we buy. Or, to put it simply, one in every bags of shopping we purchase eventually finds its way, untouched, into the bin. This is costing each household approximately $1036 every year.[vi] One of the reasons that vegetables and fruits go to waste is that sometimes we buy too much of it and simply can’t keep up with eating it all. Alleviate all that unnecessary waste by shopping each day for what you need, or making, and sticking to a meal plan.

4. Use nutrient rich stalks, skins and leaves instead of throwing them out

Often deemed the undesirable part of vegetable that gets tossed in the bin—stalks, skins and leaves are packed with nutrients, and in some cases contain more goodness than their desirable counterparts[vii] . For example, orange peel contains four times as much fibre as the inside fruit.[viii] The orange peel also contains flavonoids which are been shown to contain anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties[ix]. Grate the peel and sprinkle on meats, salads or fish dishes. Stems from broccoli or cauliflower have more nutrients than the floret portions of the vegetable, including more fibre, vitamin C and calcium[x]. This can be great as a crunchy snack accompanied by dip or steamed and included in pastas. Lastly, leaves such as celery and beets are a secret stash of highly nutritious benefits. Celery leaves contain five times more magnesium and calcium than the crunchy stalk used for snacking, while beet leaves have a higher percentage of antioxidants, fibre, calcium and iron than the popular purple bulb portion[xi].  

5. Get more out of your vegie intake through natural supplementation

While achieving your daily recommended vegetable and fruit intake each day is ideal —some people find natural supplementation can also boost your body’s ability to get the most energy and nutrients out of their diet. Options for this include Ubiquinol (the active form of CoQ10)—it is a potent antioxidant found naturally in our bodies and supports healthy energy synthesis[xii].

 The key to performing at your best each day is diet, and supplementing your diet with antioxidants like Ubiquinol may help on a cellular level to derive the most from your foods.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.

This article’s been publish in collaboration with National Nutrition Week.


[i] https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.012~2011-12~Main%20Features~Vegetables,%20legumes%20and%20beans~10

[ii] https://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/australian-dietary-guidelines-recommended-daily-intakes

[iii] https://www.nutritionaustralia.org/

[iv] https://tedxsydney.com/idea/why-ugly-food-doesnt-make-the-cut/

[v] https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/ugly-vegetable-food-waste-fruit-vegetable-a8825311.html

[vi] http://www.foodwise.com.au/foodwaste/food-waste-fast-facts/

[vii] https://blogs.webmd.com/food-fitness/20120817/stems-stalks-leaves-and-peels

[viii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4745316/

[ix] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4745316/

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Ibid.

[xii] https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/servlet/xmlmillr6?dbid=ebs/PublicHTML/pdfStore.nsf&docid=203744&agid=(PrintDetailsPublic)&actionid=1

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