If you're trying to increase your fruit and vegetable intake to five, seven or perhaps 10 portions a day, then look no further, we have some easy and delicious tips for you.
Recent research from the University College London, reported increased health benefits for those of us who ate up to, and more than seven portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Studies like this continue to stress the value of plant-based foods in our diets and the need to support health accordingly. Many of the beneficial compounds in plants are linked to their colour pigments and antioxidant activity. The best way to support health is to provide variety.
What counts as a portion?
- 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables counts as 1portion of your 5 A Day. Opt for tinned or canned fruit and vegetables in natural juice or water, with no added sugar or salt. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and plantain are not included.
- 30g of dried fruit (this is equivalent to around 80g of fresh fruit) counts as 1 portion of your 5 A Day.
- 150ml of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie. Limit the amount you drink to a combined total of 150ml a day. Juices and smoothies are wonderful but can add a lot more sugar into the diet.
- 80g of beans and pulses. These only count once as part of your 5 A Day, no matter how many you eat. This is because although they're a good source of fibre, they contain fewer nutrients than other fruits and vegetables.
5 ways to feel inspired and get more vegs into your diet
- Add extra chopped fruit and veg and add into cooked stews and soups. Frozen, canned and dried fruit and veg can be part of this consumption. Please note dried fruit should only be 30g in portion size due to sugar content. Get inspired and make your own soup with pureed vegetables, and fruit such as pear and apple, coconut milk and herbs .
- Limit your consumption of fruit or vegetable juices and smoothies to a combined total of 150ml a day (one portion). We are advised to keep the amount of fruit juice and smoothies to a minimum as this can add a lot of sugar to the diet. There are wonderful combinations of fruit and veg that you can use, increasing the values by adding in shots of bee pollen and wheatgrass. Add in interesting extras such as ginger and mint.
- A smoothie containing 80g each(including the pulp) of two different fruit or veg counts as a maximum of two. Drop in lots of variety, using berries and extra greens supplements that can be shop bought.
- Make healthy chia seed puddings bursting with omegas, adding coconut, nuts and handful of berries for desert.
- Add Fivaday into your regime to up your quota by Five a day.