Fruit and vegetables are key to a healthier lifestyle. They taste great and add variety to any meal. Your 5 a day should consist of as many different coloured varieties as possible.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables are also a good source of fibre and antioxidants. All these nutrients are important for your health.
Fruit and vegetables are generally low fat, low calories food, so eating them instead of foods high in fat and added sugars gets you on your way to keeping healthy and losing weight.
Remember fresh, frozen, canned, chilled, pulses, 100% unsweetened juice and dried fruit and vegetables all count towards your 5 a day.
Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season, this means that they are not only cheaper, but tastier too.
A portion counts as 80g which is roughly a handful.
A few examples of what counts as a portion.
1 medium apple
3 celery sticks
3 heaped tbsp of canned sweetcorn
7 cherry tomatoes
1 handful of carrot sticks
1 medium banana
3 heaped tbsp of fresh or frozen peas
1/2 and avocado
3 heaped tbsp of cooked kidney beans
2 broccoli florets
2 medium plums
8 brussels sprouts
1/2 a large courgette
1 medium onion
12 chunks of pineapple
3 whole dried apricots
Here are some ideas on how to increase your 5 a day.
Have 100% unsweetened fruit juice (150ml) with your breakfast.
Snack on fruit, dried fruit or vegetable sticks mid morning or mid afternoon.
Add a side salad to your lunch.
Add an extra serving of vegetables with your evening meal.
Add tinned tomatoes to a homemade casserole.
Make homemade soup.
Make your own tomato sauce for pasta dishes, you can hide plenty of vegetables in it if you blend it.
Make your own smoothie or juice drink – just remember they count as a maximum of 2 of your 5 a day.