What is an ideal diet for a day? Experts and nutritionists recommend consuming at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. These natural wonders are packed with essential micronutrients and fibre, aiding in detoxification and providing our bodies with essential nutrients. But how do we determine the portion size? Knowing what constitutes one portion can be challenging since fruits and vegetables come in various shapes and sizes. We looked at the guide by the National Health Service (NHS) guide to fruit and vegetable sizes, which provided us with an easy way to ensure we meet our daily portion requirements. And we are happy to share it with you.
5-A-Day Fruit Portions - What Is One Portion Of Fruit:
Small fresh fruit:
For small fruits like plums, kiwi fruit, lychees, apricots, cherries, or strawberries, two or more small-sized fruits count as one portion.
Medium-sized fresh fruit:
One piece of medium-sized fruit, such as a banana, apple, pear, or orange, is equivalent to one portion.
Large fresh fruit:
When it comes to larger fruits like melons, papayas, and pineapples, half a grapefruit, one slice of melon or papaya, two slices of mango, or one large slice of pineapple equals one portion.
Approximately 30 grams of dried fruit make up one portion. You can have one heaped tablespoon of currants or raisins, one tablespoon of mixed fruit, three prunes, two figs, or a handful of dried banana chips. Remember that dried fruits are often high in sugar, so it's wise to swap them for fresh fruit, especially between meals, to minimise the risk of tooth decay.
Tinned or canned fruit:
The quantity of tinned or canned fruit needed for one portion is similar to that of fresh fruit. Although fresh fruits are better, if you go for the canned ones, always choose fruit canned in natural juice rather than syrup.
5-A-Day Vegetable Portions - What Is One Portion Of Vegetable:
Green vegetables offer a range of health benefits and are a must-addition to our diet. Two broccoli spears or four heaped tablespoons of cooked leafy vegetables, spring greens, or green beans constitute one portion of green vegetables. You can match the measurements with other greens like spinach, mustard and fenugreek leaves.
Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, including peas, carrots, and sweet corn make up one portion. If you are having large sized vegetable that is cooked; like cauliflower florets, then eight florets of cauliflower and similar vegetables count for one portion.
For salad vegetables like cucumber, celery, tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, a small 5cm piece of cucumber, three sticks of celery, one medium tomato, or seven cherry tomatoes count as one portion.
Tinned and frozen vegetables:
The portion size for tinned or frozen vegetables is similar to that of fresh veggies. Opt for vegetables canned in water without added sugar or salt.
Juices and smoothies:
Limit your consumption of fresh fruit/vegetable juices and smoothies to a combined total of 150ml per day. When fruits are juiced or blended, they release sugars that can harm teeth. Whole fruits, however, are less likely to cause tooth decay as the sugar is contained within the fruit's structure.
Potatoes, cassava, plantain, and yams do not count towards your 5-a-day. These starchy vegetables can be consumed in place of other sources of starch, such as rice, bread, or pasta. However, they still play an important role in our diet.
What About Ready-to-Eat Meals?
When purchasing ready-to-eat meals, it is essential to read the labels carefully. Some pre-packaged foods may contain high levels of salt, sugar, and fat. Therefore, reserve such meals for occasional consumption and in small quantities.
Achieving your daily 5-a-day requirement of fruits and vegetables is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. By understanding the portion sizes outlined by the NHS, you can ensure that you are consuming an adequate amount of these nutritious foods. Remember to vary your choices, explore different types of fruits and vegetables, and enjoy the numerous benefits they offer for your overall well-being.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.