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Fruits and veggies are a critical supply of nutrition and minerals and we are advised to have a minimum 5 parts of fruit and vegetables every day based on research. The five-a-day message stresses the wellness benefits having five 80g parts of fruit and vegetables everyday (this leads to a whole of 400g per day).

This is based on the truth that it is advocated by way of the World Health Organization (WHO) and they advised that no less than 400g of fruit and vegetables a day should be consumed to scale back the risk of health problems such as heart disease and weight problems (obesity).

You could incorporate this into your meal plan for the family and encourage the children to participate by giving them fruits to take to school in the place of sweets and chocolates. Try a combination of fruits with different colours to spice things up as children like colours and this will endear them to fruits.


Also, try mixing the fruits you have to avoid things becoming boring. You can also mix fruits in a smoothie or add them to meals. Five a day can provide quick ways to lose weight as it can be a low calorie diet

What counts and what does not:

What Counts
  • Fruit and veggies set in dishes such as soups.
  • Beans and pulses only counts as one element a day, irrespective of how many you eat. Contains just right source of fibre but incorporate fewer nutrients than different fruits and veggies.
  • Frozen and canned fruit and veggies which can be frozen, canned, dried, or packaged as convenient foods of which ready meals is an example. This contains a lot of salt, fat and sugar. So regulate the way you eat them.
  • Drinks and five-a-day – One glass (150ml) of unsweetened one hundred percent fruit or vegetable juice which offers a maximum of one portion a day, despite the fact that you might have multiple glass because juice comprises less fibre than whole fruits and veggies. Crushing fruit into juice additionally releases the sugars contained within the fruit, which can cause injury or damage to the teeth.
  • A smoothie containing all the edible pulped fruit and/or vegetable may be counted as multiple portion but this is dependent upon the way it’s made because a smoothie normally comprises of more than one fruit
  • Sweet potatoes, parsnips, swedes and turnips do count toward your 5 A DAY, seeing that they’re ordinarily eaten in addition to the starchy food part of the meal.
What Does not
  • Potatoes don’t as they’re starchy meals and a quality source of energy, fibre, vitamin B nutrients and potassium. Includes a lot of vitamin C
  • Yams, cassava and plantain don’t count towards five-a-day

Adapted from NHS Choices page. For portion sizes, click here and for more information, visit this NHS page.

Until next post, try five-a-day and don’t forget to exercise. As I always say, a fitness plan without a change of diet is futile.


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