Get your five a day
The joy of fruit and veg? There’s no limit to how much you consume.
Government guidelines recommend that we all eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This isn’t as hard as it sounds – there’s so much variety to choose from and the more you mix them up the better, because they each contain different levels of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
As well as being full of vitamins and minerals, fruit and veg are a great source of fibre and antioxidants, help you to maintain a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. And there’s no limit to how many you can consume – the more you eat, the better!
Try to follow these guidelines:
- Fresh, frozen, chilled, canned, 100% juice and smoothies all count, as do dried fruit and vegetables
- Fruit and vegetables don’t have to be eaten on their own: you can include vegetables found in soups, stews, sandwiches and other dishes.
- Fruit and vegetables contained in convenience foods like ready meals, pasta sauces, soups and puddings, all contribute. You can get your veg and fruit fix from takeaways and ready meals; however, convenience foods are often high in added salt, sugar or fat so as a general rule, only eat them in moderation.
- Dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals don’t count!
- Starchy foods such as potatoes and other related vegetables such as yams and cassava don’t count.
Top tips for getting your five a day
Peppers, mushrooms, onions or pineapple on a pizza count as a portion
Add kidney beans, peas or corn to soups, pasta sauces or noodle dishes
Swap crisps for sticks of celery, cucumber and sweet pepper and dip them in tomato salsa
Lettuce, cucumber or grated carrot will add crunch to sandwiches
Vegetable stir-frys are easy, quick and healthy
Start your morning with a glass of fruit
Tinned fruit in natural juice is an acceptable pudding
Make smoothies from over-ripe fruit rather than throw it away
Wash down lunch with a glass of orange juice – a medium-sized glass counts as 1 portion
Make ice lollies from fruit smoothies, 100% fruit juice or pureed fresh fruit