Are you ready to #challengeyourself to run your first marathon? Make sure you stay healthy during winter, to keep up with your training programme.

By Andrea du Plessis, Vital Nutrition Expert.

Thanks to research into health and nutrition, we now realise the vital role food plays achieving and maintaining optimum health. In fact, a rising food trend is the combination of healthy indulgence. This trend is reflected by the new, exciting and innovative foods popping up in health stores and supermarkets, showing how health benefits are as high on demand as exciting flavours, textures and great taste.

Where previous health guidelines indicated 5 portions fruit and or veg per day for optimum nutrition, the latest guidelines from the 2014 Health Survey for England survey indicate 7-10 portions of fruit and or vegetables per day2.  This is due to the reduced nutrient density in the fresh produce we buy, resulting from agricultural soil depletion, prolonged storage and processing of fresh produce. Add to this increased nutritional demands of a fast-paced, pressured and active lifestyle, plus the nutrient depleting effects of alcohol, smoking and the use of chronic medicine. Considering all these, the recommendation of 7-10 portions per day starts to make sense. With active and pressured lifestyles becoming the norm, snacking is playing an increasingly important part of a person’s daily dietary intake.

In fact, “snackification” as a diet trend is redefining mealtimes, where snacks are substituting meals1. We tend to eat around our schedules, rather than scheduling our daily activities around mealtimes. While dinner remains an important social meal occasion, breakfast and lunch occasions are often “snackified”, especially during the week for those that work, travel and study.


Snacking occasions have increased to represent up to 50% of all food and beverage occasions. This shift in dietary habits is also reflected by the fact that snacking often contributes to 50% or more of one’s total daily kilojoule intake.

According to the 2013 Modern Eating and Eating Occasions surveys by the Hartman Group, 90% of consumers snack multiple times throughout the day, with 61% actively looking for healthier snack options.


Snacking often comprises of foods that contain lots of added sugar, portions that exceed our energy requirements and very little nutritional value in terms of fibre and vitamins. This creates the need for nutrient dense snacks that deliver on the needs for convenience, indulgence and nutrition.

Selecting smart snack options can prove to be a real challenge. Hidden sugars in foods is believed to contribute to obesity. Many snack foods that are perceived to be healthy contain lots of added sugar.


Vital Bars and Bites are tasty snack time solutions, which make getting your daily vitamins that much easier. Each bar or pack of bites contains 12 vitamins at 100% NRV; they’re made from dried fruit, raw nuts and seeds; and they’re free from gluten, added sugar, and preservatives.

Vital Bars and Bites are available in these delicious flavours:

  • Cashew & Coconut
  • Almond & Cocoa
  • Seed, Almond & Cinnamon

They are made from dried fruit, raw nuts and seeds and are free from added sugar.  Vital Bars and Bites are ideal for those that suffer with sensitivities to preservatives and wheat products, as they are gluten free and are free from preservatives, colourants and flavourants.

Vital Bars and Vital Bites offer a convenient bite-sized snack solution that can travel with you wherever your day takes you; they are perfect for:

  • Office lunch box kit
  • Kids’ lunch boxes
  • Children’s parties
  • Snacking on the run
  • Road trips
  • Breakfast on-the-go
  • Hiking
  • Marathon & trail running & mountain biking events

Ask Andrea du Plessis – Vital Expert your questions on: or