08 April 2009

Are you eat enough fruit and vegetables? I’m sure you’re not. If you increase your intake of fruit and vegetable, you can reduce your risk of getting cancer or cardiovascular diseases and lower your blood pressure. Everyone over the age of five should eat at least five 80g portions of fruit or vegetables each day.

There are lots of ways to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. For example :
  1. It's a good idea to always have a bowl of fruit set out - it has to be easy to grab an apple, orange or pear.
  2. Could you snack on a piece of fruit or bowl of salad instead of a chocolate bar?
  3. Could you have a vegetable-based meal one night a week? Check your cookbooks for recipes or buy a vegetarian one.
  4. Could you swap a caffeine or fizzy drink each day for a 100 per cent fruit juice or smoothie?
  5. Could you skip the snacks section of the supermarket and instead stock up on fruit and veg (dried, tinned, fresh, frozen)?
How can you increase your fruits and vegetables intake to 400g a day?
  • Drink one glass of fruit juice with breakfast.
  • Have one orange before lunch.
  • Include one large piece of cucumber in your lunch.
  • Eat one apple in the afternoon.
  • Have an 80g portion of cauliflower or broccoli with dinner.
How Do I Know If I've Eaten Enough?
Fruit and vegetables do not all contain the same amount of health promoting ingredients. Listed below is an approximate calculation of the amount needed to count as one portion.
  • One tomato, pepper or a large onion.
  • A quarter of a cauliflower or cucumber.
  • One bowl of lettuce.
  • Three heaped tablespoons of any vegetable, eg peas, carrots, sweetcorn.
  • Half an avocado.
  • One apple, pear, banana, orange, nectarine or peach.
  • One slice of melon.
  • Half a grapefruit.
  • Two plums.
  • One glass (150ml) of pure fruit juice. No matter how many glasses you drink a day, it only counts as one portion.
  • Three heaped tablespoons of beans or pulses. Again, no matter how much you eat, it will only count as one portion.
Can I Eat Frozen Fruit And Vegetables?
Modern freezing methods preserve the healthy nutrients, so frozen fruit and veg can be better than fresh produce that has been left out at room temperature for a long time. Tinned vegetables and fruit, plus dried fruit such as raisins, also count towards your five a day.


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