Fruit and Vegetables

I’m sure that by now we are all aware that the UK recommended intake of fruit and vegetables is 5 portions per day (5 a day), however not everyone is certain as to what a portion actually is. Below are some examples of what represents one portion:
  • 1 medium apple/pear/orange/banana/peach
  • 2 Clementine’s/Satsuma’s/plums
  • 3 dates
  • 150 ml fruit juice (can only contribute 1 portion per day)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons fruit salad
  • 2 slices mango
  • 1 slice melon
  • 12 chunks pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon raisins/sultanas
  • 7 strawberries
  • 5 spears fresh asparagus
  • 1/3rd aubergine
  • 4 heaped tablespoons runner beans
  • 2 spears broccoli
  • 3 heaped tablespoons carrots
  • 8 florets cauliflower
  • Half a large courgette
  • 3 tablespoons mixed frozen vegetables
  • 14 button mushrooms
  • 3 heaped tablespoons peas/sweetcorn
  • Half a pepper
  • 1 medium tomato or 7 cherry
Fruit, salad and vegetables provide fibre and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. These include anti-oxidants, which are important for reducing risk of health problems such as certain cancers, coronary heart disease, premature ageing and strokes. Remember, potatoes do not belong in this food group, they are a carbohydrate. They are also low in calories as well as filling, so fruit makes an excellent snack during the day. Try to think how to increase your daily intake of fruit and vegetables so that you are meeting ‘5 a day’. Try adding salads/cherry tomatoes to your lunch, including fruit as a snack during the day or after exercise, to help replace your energy levels. Have a variety of vegetables at your main meal and include different types of beans and pulses in dishes such as chilli con carne, casseroles and stews. To ensure that you take in a wide variety of different vitamins and minerals it is important to have a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables. Frozen and tinned are just as good as fresh, as long as you use lower sugar, lower salt varieties where available. Why not try some different fruits and vegetables that you would not usually buy!