Healthy Eating Week - Tuesday = get at least 5 a day

Why should I eat fruit and vegetables?

Eating fruit and vegetables is an important part of having a healthy balanced diet. They provide us with a wide range of vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin C and potassium. Eating a variety of colours helps us get all the nutrients our body needs.

They are a great source of fibre which can help keep our gut healthy, prevent digestive problems and reduce our risk of bowel cancer.

Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables can help fill us up without adding too many calories (as long as they aren’t cooked in lots of fat or smothered in creamy or cheesy sauces!) - therefore helping with weight management. They can also reduce our risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.


What are the recommendations?

We should eat 5 portions a day. About a third of what we eat should be fruit and vegetables.

A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit or vegetables is 80g

A portion of dried fruit is 30g

A portion of unsweetened fruit or vegetable juice or smoothie is 150 ml. Only one of these counts towards your 5 a day.

You can find out more about portion sizes here.


How can I increase how much fruit and vegetables I eat?

The British Dietetic Association gives us some tips on how to get 5 a day.

Try to eat one or two portions with each meal and make fruit or vegetables the first choice for a snack and it will be easy to eat at least five a day.

Sample day:

Breakfast: A bowl of wholegrain breakfast cereal with a sliced banana and a glass of pure fruit juice.

Mid-morning snack: Munch your favourite raw vegetable crudités – cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, carrots batons or celery sticks.

Lunch: Add a side salad to your lunchtime sandwich and a small pack of dried raisins.

Mid-afternoon snack: Ditch the biscuits for fresh melon or mango slices.

Dinner: Indulge in a spicy chilli or hearty winter casserole packed full of seasonal vegetables.


Remember - potatoes, yam, plantain, and cassava do not contribute towards your five-a-day because they are starchy foods. However, butternut squash, sweet potato and pumpkin do count! 

Why not keep a note of how many portions of fruit and vegetables you have each day. If you are having less than 5 then you could have a think about how you could increase how much you have.

By registering with Get Healthy Rotherham, you can gain access to advice and support on how to reach and maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, become more physically active, quit smoking and live a healthier lifestyle. Click the register button to find out more.