All You Need to Know About your Five a Day

February 28, 2013

Dieting, Healthy Life

Five a Day

Five a Day

Five-a-day is perhaps one of the best known government health messages, however very few of us manage our 5 a day target.

Fruit and veg are packed full of healthy benefits for our wellbeing and are part of a balanced diet. More effort needs to be made to eat more of these healthy foods, but there is some confusion around this health message.

About 5 A DAY

It was introduced by World Health as a method to lower the risk of serious health issues. They suggested that everyone should be eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables every day.

What Counts

To make the most of the benefits from your 5-a-day, it is suggested to eat a variety of vegetables and fruits as different fruits and veg contain different benefits. They don’t have to be fresh to count or be eaten by themselves, they can be added to any meal.

Virtually all fruit and vegetables count, no other food however can play a part in your 5-a-day. One important thing to mention is that two portions of one specific fruit/veg only counts as one of your 5-a-day. So if for some reason, you felt like indulging into 5 whole juicy apples, sadly that’s just one portion, not five!

Most people fail to identify what counts as one portion of fruit/veg, below are a few examples of portions:

  • Two tangerines
  • Beans and pulse, even baked beans!
  • Smoothies
  • Dried fruit, such as currants, sultanas and figs.
  • Seven strawberries
  • One medium sized banana or tomato
  • A handful of raspberries or blueberries
  • A handful of carrots

One of the easiest ways to calculate one portion is to weigh your food. 80g portions of fruit or vegetables, count towards one portion, which is usually about a handful.

What doesn’t count?

Sadly, although potatoes are vegetables, they don’t count towards your five a day. That’s because the main nutrient in potatoes is starch. Other vegetables that don’t count are cassava and plaintain, as they are again categorized as a starchy food.

Five Reasons to eat five portions

  1. Fruit and vegetables are in no doubt delicious! Although not all types will tickle your taste buds, luckily there is a vast array of fruit and veg available to us all year round.
  2. They are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals
  3. They’re a good source of dietary fibre. This helps us to prevent any digestion problems and helps to maintain a healthy gut. A fibre rich diet also helps reduce the risk of bowel cancer
  4. They can help to reduce your risk levels of cancer, heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and obesity
  5. They are a necessity to contribute to a healthy, balanced diet. Helping to keep you fit and healthy. They are also low in fat and calories

About the author:
This post was written by Gail Newland, a miscellaneous freelance writer.

All You Need to Know About your Five a Day

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

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