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The Eatwell Plate which our Healthwise philosophy supports suggests that a third of our daily food consumption should come from fruit and vegetables. As well as being low in fat and calories; and high in fibre, a combination of different fruit and vegetables can provide a cocktail of nutrients beneficial for health and well-being. In fact, there is evidence that eating lots of fruit and vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Our advice is to eat a rainbow of colours.
One portion is about 80g for adults.
For children a portion is roughly equal to the amount they can hold in the palm of their hand.
Examples of an 80g portion are:
One medium sized banana,
Two small fruits e.g. kiwi,
Half a grapefruit
One handful of grapes
150ml glass of fruit juice
Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables such as carrots, swede or cabbage
Three heaped tablespoons of beans or pulses such as chickpeas, lentils or kidney beans
It is important to note that:
A portion of dried fruit is equal to about 30g
A 150ml glass of fruit or vegetable juice only counts as one of your '5 A DAY'. This is because it contains less fibre and when fruit is juiced they release sugars which can damage your teeth
A smoothie may count as more than one portion of your '5 A DAY' but it depends on how much fruit and/or vegetables have been used and also how it was made. For example a smoothie containing two 80g portions of whole fruit/vegetables would count as 2 portions of your '5 A DAY'. Smoothies cannot count as more than 2 portions of your '5 A DAY'. Like fruit juices, this is because when fruit is juiced/blended, it releases sugars which can damage your teeth
A portion of beans or pulses only count as one of your '5 a day' as they contain less nutrients than other fruit/vegetables
Tips for achieving your '5 A DAY'
Fresh or dried fruit can be added to your breakfast cereal, yoghurt or desserts
Fruit and some vegetables can be taken as a snack for example bananas, apples, fruit pots, celery or carrot sticks
If you are having tinned fruit, aim to choose tinned fruit in its natural juice rather than in syrup
If you are having tinned vegetables, aim to choose vegetables in water rather than in salt or sugar
Add vegetables to your meals for example you can add them to curries, stews, pasta dishes or stir fries
Alternatively serve vegetables as a side along with your meal
Salad can be added to your sandwich or baguette or served with your meal
Aim to avoid adding fat to your vegetables for example butter, honey, oil