Are you getting your 5-A-Day?
Why do we need to get 5-A-Day?
Fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre and it’s suggested that eating 5 portions of each a day can help us lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
It’s reported the three quarters of us don’t get their 5-a-day, so when it comes to getting healthier, upcoming our fruit and vegetable intake is a great place to start. We’re also eating less vegetables than we are fruit, so make a conscious effort to up the veggies and hero them within your meals. These recipes will help you do just that.
What are the benefits of eating 5-A-Day?
They’re low in fat and calories, come in all sorts of varieties and can be eaten in a variety of different ways. The best way to get your 5-A-Day is to eat as wide a variety as you can so that you get the benefits of the various vitamins and minerals.
What counts towards my 5-A-Day?
Pretty much all fruit and veg count towards your 5-A-Day - whether it’s fresh, dried, frozen or tinned. Though potatoes don’t. Neither do yams, plantain or cassava. And remember that only one serving of 150ml of fruit juice can count as one of your 5-A-Day as it’s very high in sugar. And beans and pulses only count as one portion, no matter how much you eat.
Try not to count fruit pudding, wine, pickles, vegetable crisps, ketchup or the salad in your sandwich as one of your 5-A-Day.
How big is one portion of fruit and veg?
One portion of fruit or veg is 80g, which is roughly a handful. A portion of dried fruit is smaller though, at 30g.
Check out our guide to portion sizes here.
What if I don’t like fruit and vegetables?
Try and ease them into your diet bit by bit, you’ll be surprised how quickly your taste buds get used to change. Here are a few ideas to get more fruit and veg into your diet without really noticing, and save some calories along the way:
- Cauliflower rice - blend cauliflower and use as a rice substitute
- Make your own pasta sauce using tinned tomatoes and chopped up veg instead of buying ready-made
- Add parsnips or carrots to mash
- Roast sliced sweet potatoes, parsnips or carrots instead of potatoes to make chips.
- Add peas to loads of dishes!
- Make your own vegetable crisps by thinly slicing vegetables and baking until dry.
And remember… vitamin and mineral supplements can’t be a substitute for eating fruit and veg!