We all know we need to try and eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every
day. In fact recent studies suggest this should be closer to ten!
Fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals including folate,
magnesium, potassium plus vitamins A, C and K which our bodies need to function.
They are also high in fibre which helps keep us feeling fuller for longer and supports
Two-thirds of UK adults eat fewer than three portions of fruit or vegetables daily, with
nearly half of people eating none at all on at least three days a week.
So what exactly does a portion look like?
It’s equivalent to three heaped tablespoons or 80g. Don’t stress too much about
numbers, just focus on incorporating more fruits and vegetables into every meal and
snack and you’ll soon be reaching your 5-a-day.
What counts towards your 5-a-day apart from fresh fruits and veg?
- Beans and pulses. Not only are they good sources of carbohydrates and protein,
but they also contain essential vitamins and minerals. However, bear in mind that
they only count as one of your 5-a-day, regardless of the amount or type you eat.
Half a can of baked beans counts! (watch the sugar levels though)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree. Stirring tomato puree into a bolognese or chilli is a quick
and easy way to get one of your 5-a-day.
- Frozen fruit and veg
- Dried fruit (you only need a 30g serving to equal one portion)
Although it would be nice to tell you that one portion of chips contributes to your 5-a-
day, sadly potatoes do not count! Potatoes are, however, a good source of fibre, potassium
and B vitamins.
What about fruit juice?
150ml of unsweetened juice counts as a maximum of one 5-a-day. These types of
juices are generally high in sugar and this can impact blood sugar levels and affect
Tips for getting your 5-a-day
Jazz up your toast with avocado, mushrooms and tomatoes
Add some chopped fruit to porridge or yoghurt. For a warming porridge add a
handful of berries and stewed apple with a pinch of cinnamon.
Enjoy a smoothie made up of different fruits and vegetables
Enjoy a salad made up of a variety of different vegetables
Snack on carrots and cucumber dipped in hummus or homemade vegetable
Add some raw veggies such as cucumber, tomatoes and pepper to your
Add an extra portion of vegetables to your main meal
Swap potatoes for sweet potatoes
Add a serving of beans/pulses to a soup
Try and fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables of all colours and varieties – eat the