Frequently Asked Questions about your Fruit and Veg Intake
We are regularly told just how important it is to increase our fruit and vegetable uptake, but there is some confusion about exactly what constitutes our five-a-day. For example, does tinned fruit count? And what sort of portion size should we be looking to eat?
There are all sorts of reasons why we should make sure we eat as much fruit and veg as we can, but to experience all the benefits we really need to hit that all-important five-a-day. So how do we know if we’re eating enough fruit and veg? Well, here’s our guide to help.
Q: Does only fresh fruit count towards your five-a-day
A: Absolutely not. In fact you’d be surprised by just how many different types of food actually do. The fruit and veg can be frozen, canned, dried or juiced. That means even food like frozen peas or baked beans count. While fruit juice and smoothies are an easy way to boost your fruit and veg intake, they can cause tooth decay and should only be drunk as part of a meal.
Q: What constitutes a portion of fruit?
A: With fruit and veg coming in all shapes and sizes, the amount you need to eat of each to constitute a single portion can cause some confusion. Roughly speaking, you should work on the assumption that one portion of fruit is equal to approximately 80g. That could be around half a grapefruit, two satsumas or a small slice of melon. However, this changes when it comes to dried fruit. In this case, just 30g is all you need to eat to get a single portion. In the case of fruit juice, a 150ml glass of 100 percent juice is one of your five-a-day.
Q: Is there any fruit and veg that does not count towards your five-a-day?
A: Potatoes, yams, plantain and yams are all vegetables, but because they are made up of mainly of starch they do not count towards your five-a-day. However, other root vegetables such as parsnips, sweet potatoes, swedes and turnips do.
Q: Can you just take supplements instead?
A: No. Vitamin supplements do not count towards your five-a-day because they do not have the same health benefits as eating fruit and veg. This is because fruit and vegetables contain other additional beneficial substances, such as fibre, which helps to deliver the vitamins and nutrients in the right way.
Q: What exactly are the benefits of eating so much fruit and veg?
A: There are many different health benefits associated with the regular consumption of fruit and veg. That includes everything from increasing your resistance to everyday cold and flu, to reducing your risk of heart disease and even cancer. A recent study by fruitful office even showed that upping your consumption of fruit at work could increase productivity and improve your concentration.
Q: Does the fruit and veg in takeaways count towards your five-a-day?
Yes, any item of fruit and veg you consume will count. However, takeaways are also unhealthy for lots of other reasons, so while you may benefit from some veg, you could also be adding high amounts of fat, salt and sugar to your diet, which is why takeaways should only be eaten as an occasional treat.