We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us. But research shows that most of us eat far less each day than the five portions recommended by experts.
At a glance
•Experts recommend we eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day — a portion is roughly 80g.
•To eat more fruit, add it to your breakfast cereal and salads, take to work as a snack, and make or buy fruit smoothies.
•To eat more vegetables, make vegetable chili and lasagne, used pureed vegetables to thicken soups and sauces, and snack on raw vegetables at work.
Easy ways to eat more fruit and vegetables
We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us. But research shows that most of us eat far less each day than the five portions recommended by experts. To help ensure that you eat a healthy amount of the right foods, we've compiled some simple and tasty ideas to show you how easy it is to fit your five portions into your daily diet.
Exactly how much is a portion of fruit or vegetables?
When experts talk about eating our five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, what exactly do they mean? How much is a portion? Roughly speaking an adult portion is 80g of fresh, tinned or frozen fruit or vegetables, which is equivalent to:
•Two or more small fruit (e.g. plums, satsumas or kiwi fruit).
•One piece of medium-size fruit (e.g. an apple, banana or orange).
•30g of dried fruit (e.g. raisins, prunes or banana chips).
•Two broccoli spears.
•Four heaped tablespoons of greens (e.g. spinach, kale or green beans).
•Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables (e.g. carrots, peas or sweetcorn).
•Three sticks of celery, seven cherry tomatoes and a 5cm piece of cucumber.
•Three heaped tablespoons of beans (e.g. baked beans, chickpeas or kidney beans).
•150ml glass of unsweetened, 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
Eating more fruit
Fruit can be eaten after a meal or as a snack. Some ideas to help you eat more fruit:
•Mix fruit into your hot or cold cereal. Try apples, bananas, berries or peaches.
•Take a piece of fruit to work. Apples, pears, oranges and clementines are great in the winter. And plums, peaches, and nectarines are perfect in summer.
•Add diced fresh fruit (e.g. bananas, pineapple, peaches or berries) to yoghurt or cottage cheese.
•If you crave a sugary snack, eat a little dried fruit (e.g. raisins, apricots, cherries or prunes) mixed with two tablespoons of nuts or seeds.
•Make a fruit smoothie. Blend frozen fruit (e.g. berries, bananas, pineapple or mango) with low fat milk and yoghurt or orange juice.
•Sweeten your salads. Fresh fruit makes a tasty addition to mixed greens, chicken, or tuna salads. Try strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, kiwi fruit or mangos in green salads. Sliced grapes or diced apples work well in chicken or tuna salads.
Eating more vegetables - Ideally, vegetables should take up half your plate at lunch or dinner — not simply be an afterthought to meat and potatoes. Some ideas to help you eat more vegetables:
•Create vegetable-based meals, e.g. butternut squash stuffed with brown rice, vegetarian chilli or lasagne, or a hearty bean and vegetable soup.
•Puree cooked vegetables in a blender and add to soups or sauces. This gives a creamy texture without the cream. Try combining onions, carrots, and courgette for a sweet, tasty blend.
•Use bagged lettuce or spinach for a quick and easy salad. Or tear open a pre-packed bag of shredded cabbage or carrots to use as a base for a crunchy salad.
•Bulk up plain pasta sauces, stir fries, or chilli dishes with extra vegetables, e.g. mushrooms, peppers, courgette, aubergine, carrots and onions.
•Add some raw vegetables to your packed lunch, e.g. mini carrots, celery strips, slices of sweet red pepper or cherry tomatoes.
•Use frozen vegetables. They can be heated in the microwave or on the hob in minutes. Eat them as they are, or add them to soups or stir fries.
Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables we eat every day can help us to stay healthy and active — and keep illness at bay. And with some creative ideas, it doesn't have to be a chore. In fact, you may even find that you soon enjoy making fruit and vegetables a focus of your diet, rather than a last minute thought. if you want to know more about you daily diet chart then you have to visit here