STRUGGLING TO GET 5-A-DAY FRUIT AND VEGETABLES?
The UK are typically consuming less than the recommended 5 portions of fruit and veg (-according to the most recent National Diet & Nutrition Survey (2016), 8% of 11-18yr olds, 27% of 19-64yr olds and 35% of over 65yr olds are meeting the recommendations).
See below for tips!
WHY EAT FRUIT & VEG?
They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They can help to lower the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, some cancers and beneficial for digestive health (WHO, 2017).
It’s cheaper to fill up on vegetables, beans and pulses compared to meat/fish/poultry, and can bulk up dishes so goes further, such as a Bolognaise sauce bulked up with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers and grated carrot (grated so a less obvious addition to the dish), compared to buying a larger packet of minced beef/turkey/quorn.
BUT WHAT IS A PORTION?
80g fruit or vegetable (fresh, tinned, frozen)
30g dried fruit (best to eat with a meal to reduce impact on teeth from the sticky fruit sugar)
150mL/approx. 1/4 of a pint fruit/veg juice or smoothie*
80g beans or pulses*
*only counts once in a day regardless of amount consumed
Portion guide available from NHS Choices:
HOW TO GET 5-A-DAY
- Add fruit to breakfast cereal, porridge or yoghurt
- Have a small glass (150mL) of fruit/veg juice or smoothie
- Add salad to wraps, pittas, sandwiches, or as a side dish
- Add beans and pulses, or grate veg into soups, sauces, stews, casseroles, Bolognaise, chilli
- Make dips and spreads out of beans, pulses and vegetables
- Have a mix of root veg and potato as mash
- Snack on fruit and veg pieces
- “Eat a rainbow” – eat a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables to get a variety of nutrients they contain and to keep food interesting
- Go for seasonal and local produce for taste, variety, cost, to limit “food miles”, and support local farmers and producers
- Don’t bulk buy fresh fruit and veg to try to limit how long you store them – prolonged storage can reduce their nutritional value
- Frozen fruit and veg may be more nutritious than fresh, stays fresher longer than fresh and is convenient
- Steam veg instead of boiling to try to retain the nutrients – some nutrients are water-soluble and can leak out into the boiling water
- If you do boil veg, cook until still a bit crunchy and the cooking water could then be used for the gravy, sauce or a soup