We all know that fruit and vegetables are an essential part any healthy diet, but it can be hard to know how much to have, what types, or even understand the benefits of having fruits and vegetables. Below are our top tips for helping you eat enough fruit vegetables throughout the week.
Fruits and vegetables are full of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and critical in keeping us healthy. Having enough of these types of food can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancers. An extra benefit is that they are low in calories. Fruit and vegetables can come in many sources such as fresh, frozen, tinned (preferably in juice rather than syrup) or dried. All beneficial for in gaining those import vitamins, minerals, and fibre into your diet.
It is recommended that you consume a different variety of fruit and vegetable each day. Five portions of fruit and vegetables a day recommended in a ratio of two fruit and three vegetables.
A portion contains:
Small fruit – two plums, satsumas or kiwis
A handful of berries or cherries
One medium-sized fruit - banana, apple, pear or orange
Larger fruits-Half a grapefruit, a slice of melon or pineapple or two pieces of mango.
Dried fruit (30g) or a tablespoon of mixed fruit, raisins/currants. Two figs or three prunes.
Tinned - 2 peach or pear halves or six apricot halves.
Vegetables (80g) or three heaped tablespoons.
150ml of fruit juice
Unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies (150 ml portion) will only ever count towards a maximum of one of your five-a-day. When the fruit is blended or juiced, it releases sugars from the fruit's cells. The sugars are then released into the bloodstream quicker and can increase the risk of tooth decay, compared to whole fruits. When thinking about your fruit and vegetable intake, it can be important to know how you will reach this daily intake. Here are some ideas:
Fruit on top of your porridge or cereal in the morning or simply as a snack.
As for your vegetables, why not try filling your plate with vegetables first- we recommend you fill ½ your main meal plate with vegetables, ¼ carbohydrates and ¼ protein as a rough guide to ensure you are getting a variety and enough intake throughout the day.