Vegetables & Fruit

Vegetables and fruit are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. They’re high in fibre and packed full of vitamins and minerals. Different-coloured veg and fruit contain different vitamins and minerals, which each play a part in keeping our bodies healthy, so it’s essential to eat the rainbow, embracing a variety every day.

Aim for at least five portions of different vegetables and fruit every day – roughly a large handful or 80g of each. Experiment with different cooking methods and boost flavour with herbs, spices and citrus. Vegetables and fruit should make up over a third of our diet.

5-A-DAY

WHAT COUNTS AS 1 OF OUR 5-A-DAY?


80g or a large handful of raw, frozen, tinned or cooked vegetables or fruit all count.

Frozen fruit is great as it’s picked and frozen at its most nutritious and most flavourful.

Tinned veg and fruit count too – opt for no-added-salt/sugar versions.

30g of dried fruit can only ever count as one portion of your 5-a-day, no matter how much you eat: it contains fibre but lacks most of the vitamins of fresh fruit, and the sugar content is more concentrated.

150ml of fruit juice or smoothies can only count as one portion per day, no matter how much you drink, because sugar is released from fruit when it’s blended, becoming a free sugar, and this can damage our teeth. Try to limit to one 150ml unsweetened serving of fruit juice or smoothie daily.


80g of beans and pulses or 3 heaped tablespoons counts as one of your 5-a-day. Lentils, chickpeas or beans can all count, but only once, no matter how many you have.

Potatoes don’t count – this is because they are classified in the starchy carbohydrates food group as well as yams, cassava and plantain. However, sweet potatoes do count as one of your 5-a-day.

Vegetables and fruit naturally grow in cycles and ripen at different times of the year.

When in season, they taste amazing and are at their nutritional peak. Check a seasonal chart before you go shopping (eattheseasons.co.uk).