Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is one of the most recommended pieces of health advice. However, it’s not always easy to know what qualifies as one of your 5 a day. Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables is the key to a balanced diet, so it’s important to be aware of what counts as one of your five a day.
Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, and you should aim to eat a variety of them each day. Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juiced all count towards your five a day. You can even include pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, although they only make up one portion no matter how much you eat. Potatoes, yams, plantains and cassava don’t count towards your five a day, but they are still a good source of nutrients and should still be included in your diet.
Like vegetables, all types of fruit count towards your five a day. This includes fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juiced. You can also include 100% fruit juice, although you should limit this to one glass a day as it can be high in sugar. Remember to include a variety of different fruits in your diet, as each one is packed with unique nutrients.
Beans and Pulses
Beans and pulses are an important source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are also a great vegetarian source of iron. All types of beans such as kidney beans, black-eyed beans, butter beans, haricot beans and chickpeas count towards your five a day. However, you should only count them as one portion, no matter how much you eat.
Fruit and Vegetable Juices
Fruit and vegetable juices can be a convenient way of getting your five a day. However, it’s important to choose 100% pure juices without added sugar. The best way to keep the nutritional value of fruit and vegetable juices is to drink them as soon as possible after making them. If you buy pre-made juices, check the label to make sure they don’t contain added sugar or other additives.
Smoothies are a great way to get your five a day. They can be made with a variety of fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables and juices. You can also add things like nuts and seeds to make them more nutritious, although these don’t count towards your five a day. Make sure you don’t add any sugar or other sweeteners as this will reduce the nutritional value of the smoothie.
Potatoes, Yams, Plantains and Cassava
Although potatoes, yams, plantains and cassava are healthy, nutritious and an essential part of many diets around the world, they don’t count towards your five a day. However, you should still include them in your diet as they are a good source of energy, fibre and vitamins.
Dried fruit can be a convenient way of getting your five a day, but you should be careful not to eat too much. Dried fruits tend to be higher in sugar and calories than fresh fruits, so you should only have a small handful each day. It’s also important to choose dried fruits without added sugar or other additives.
Frozen Fruit and Vegetables
Frozen fruit and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh ones, and they are often cheaper and more convenient. Most frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen at the peak of their ripeness and nutrition, so they can be a great way of getting your five a day. However, it’s important to check the label for added sugars and other additives.
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is an important part of a balanced diet. It’s important to remember that all types of fruit and vegetables count towards your five a day, as long as they are fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced. Eating a variety of different fruits and vegetables is the best way to get all the necessary nutrients and vitamins.