Have you had fruit or vegetable today? A piece of banana or a serving of chop suey, perhaps?
If you’re like most Filipino adults, chances are, you haven’t. According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, only two out of ten adults (18 to 59 years old) in the Philippines meet their estimated average requirements for macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals in a day. That means majority of Filipino adults – eight in 10 – either go without eating fruit or vegetable in a day or eat only a very little amount to be of benefit to their bodies.
Part of the problem, especially in cities, is limited access to fruits and vegetables. While you can get practically every kind of food stuff in a city, life here is often fast-paced that not everybody has the time to make healthier meals. Many make do with what’s readily available, which are those carbohydrates-rich and protein-rich ones sold at fast-food restaurants.
All hope isn’t lost, though. Many food establishments are now becoming more receptive to their customers’ need for healthier meals and are making it a point to offer fresh fruits and vegetables or vegetable dishes. Here, we round up five healthy food items you can get from 500 Shaw Zentrum Mall stores:
7-Eleven │ Ground Floor
Photo courtesy of Drink Manila
Although 7-Eleven is known for its Slurpee and hotdogs, the 24-7 convenience store chain also has a fresh food line that includes fresh fruits, salads, and sandwiches. So if you’re working the graveyard shift and suddenly find yourself craving for green mango or pomelo, you need not wait for the street fruit peddler in the morning – just head for the nearest 7-Eleven. Then, when you pay, you might also pick one of those spotless and perfectly shaped Cavendish bananas at the counter.
Subway │ Ground Floor
Photo courtesy of Subway Philippines
Those weaning themselves from the usual fast food fare can turn to Subway, whose submarine sandwiches are the perfect alternative to burgers. Most of them have meat fillings like ham, chicken, and meatballs, but each also comes with generous helpings of salad vegetables. Subway also a sandwich for those who want to go veggie all the way – the Veggie Delite, which contains no meat but fresh lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes, stuffed between slices of bread baked at the store.
Vegetarian Noodle Soup
Pho Hoa │ Ground Floor
Photo Courtesy of Pho Hoa Noodle Soup Twitter @phohoa
Nothing beats a steaming bowl of noodles to keep you warm on a rainy day. And when it comes to noodles, Pho Hoa is one of the names to beat. Each bowl of Vietanamese noodle soup served at Pho Hoa is a hearty concoction of soup stock, vermicelli noodles, meat, seafood and vegetables. Vegetarian fans rave about the Vegetarian Noodle Soup, which is noodles, tofu, broccoli, mushrooms and shallots in a light vegetable stock.
Fresh fruit smoothies
Ationg’s Fruit Shakes │ Ground Floor
Photo courtesy of Judd Ationg via Facebook
Ationg’s Fruit Shakes is hard to miss: it’s the kiosk at the ground floor with stacks of clear plastic containers with cut-up fruits lining its counter. For its Puree Shakes, Ationg’s offers 19 choices of fruits and vegetables, including uncommon varieties like papaya, peach, and jackfruit. Add only Php10 and you can have two fruits in your fruit shake.
Ineng’s Special BBQ │ Ground Floor
Photo courtesy of Ineng’s Special BBQ
Sometimes, all you want is something simple. No rich sauces or complicated cooking techniques; just the ingredient’s natural flavors. Ineng’s Special BBQ, which specializes in Filipino cuisine, has something exactly that: its Ensaladang Talong. The eggplant is only lightly grilled, so it doesn’t lose its natural flavor. You can also temper the eggplant’s bitterness by eating it along with the chopped tomatoes and onions.