You should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day to maintain health and ward off cardiovascular disease. Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidant vitamins and potassium, which are good for the blood vessels. They also provide us with a natural source of energy. This energy is slowly released, unlike that from food containing simpler carbohydrates (such as chocolate).
Eat as many different types and colours of fruit and vegetables as possible, because each contains different vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t matter whether they are fresh, frozen, dried or tinned.
A portion is about a handful (80g or 3oz). For example:
- 4 broccoli florets
- 3 heaped tablespoons of carrots
- 1 slice of large fruit e.g. melon or pineapple
- 1 medium sized fruit (pear or banana)
- 2 small fruits e.g. kiwis, mandarins
- 1 cup of grapes or strawberries
- 1 glass of fruit juice (counts as only one portion, no matter how much you drink)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables