How many portions of fruit & veg should we be consuming a day?

12th May 2022 / Health

How many portions of fruit & veg should we be consuming a day?

Emily Shannon

Throughout May we are celebrating National Vegetarian Week, which runs from the 16th - 22nd May; and with the latest headlines suggesting we should up the original ‘5-a-day’ target to up to 10-a-day, we certainly wanted to find out more!

The evidence suggests that increasing the number of different fruits and vegetables that we eat each day could do wonders for our health, but not only that, it has been shown to reduce the risk of the development of certain diseases, including CVD, diabetes and certain cancers, sounds intriguing doesn’t it?  Don’t worry though, getting your 10-a-day doesn’t need to be complicated. We want to make it EASY and DELICIOUS so we’ll give you some of our favourite ways to get in your extra fruits and veggies and let you know what actually counts within your daily intake! 

The research is suggesting that in order to reap the health benefits of the extra fruits and veggies, we should be aiming to up our daily intake at least (hopefully more than) 600g per day. This works out at just over 7 portions a day as a minimum, and we should be aiming to include a wide variety of different fruits and veggies, so it’s important to try and mix things up!

Ever wondered what counts towards your daily intake? 

A very common question we get asked is what actually counts towards your daily intake? Good’s more than just fresh fruits and vegetables! We’ve listed all the different things that count towards your daily fruit and vegetable intake - easy! 

  • All fresh fruits and vegetables - There are literally hundreds of different fruits and veggies out there and they all count, this is your chance to get creative in the kitchen or try something new! 

  • Frozen and fruits and vegetables - Yes, that’s right, frozen counts too - we love using frozen fruits to make our smoothies!

  • Tinned or canned fruits and vegetables (Make sure you buy without added salt or sugar though!) - Make sure you read the label, sometimes the tinned varieties can be a little sugary.

  • Dried fruit - Only 30g of dried fruit counts as part of your 5 a day. We like to add it to our breakfast for a little added texture. 

  • Beans and pulses - Beans and pulses are a great addition to both your lunch and evening meal. They are also packed with plant-based protein if you’re looking to switch out some of your meat - win win!

  • If you want to find out more about everything that counts towards your daily intake then you can find it all on the NHS fruit and vegetable website here


    Let’s dig a little deeper!

    Now you know exactly what counts toward your daily intake, it’s important to know how much you actually need to be eating. It's not too tricky, so don’t panic! We’ve put together a list of how much you need to be having each day: 

    • Generally, 1 portion is 80g - to make it simple, think of it as about a handful

    • Although dried fruit counts as a portion, it’s only 30g -  It’s also recommended that you have it at mealtimes rather than as a snack as it can be a little high in sugar!

    • 80g of beans or pulses counts - but only once - They certainly count, but only one portion per day contributes. 

    Our favourite ways to get 10-a-day!

    You’ll often find us in the kitchen experimenting and finding new ways to include more fruits and veggies, it can be really exciting! It gives us the opportunity to try different things and more importantly get creative in the kitchen. There are plenty of ways that you can incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and it certainly helps you to eat the rainbow! Trying new fruits and vegetables goes hand in hand with eating seasonally and adapting all of the different things that come in and out of season. Below are some of our favourite ways to top-up our daily quota, as well as some top tips for some sneaky ways you can get all the family on board!

  • Always include some in your breakfast: this will help your day get off the best start - add a handful of berries or a banana to your yoghurt or cereal, or enjoy some steamed spinach with your eggs! 

  • Make fruit and veggies part of your elevenses - When you have your mid-morning snack, why not snack on some fruit and nut butter (we love nut butter! if you fancy something sweet or chopped veggies and hummus if you’re a savoury person!

  • Make sure that at least ⅓ of your plate is made up of fruits or vegetables - Try to make sure that you’re plenty has plenty of colour by making sure that at least ⅓ of your plate is made up of vegetables! 

  • Add fruits or vegetables into your smoothies and juices - Why not whizz up your favourite fruits and veggies into a yummy smoothie or juice - keep your blender on the side so it isn’t a hassle to get it cupboard if you fancy getting creative! 

  • Blend vegetables up into pasta sauces - If you don’t like chunky veggies or prefer ‘hidden veg’ blitz it up to make a smooth sauce that you can add to pasta. 

  • Grate them - If you are looking for another way to hide your veggies - then why not grate them! We love grating veggies love grating carrots and courgettes and either adding them to sauces and stews or making savoury muffins to snack on! 

  • Keep your fruit bowl full and easily accessible - Keep your fruit bowl where you can see it, and always keep it full with lots of delicious fruit for you to grab whenever you need. 

  • Keep fruit and veggies in your bag to grab on the go - to save you having to grab convenience snacks if you get peckish on the go, make sure that you keep some fruit or veggies in your bag to have whenever you need them!

  • Try something new each week -  Set yourself a goal, to keep the variety up, try something new each week, either on its own or as part of a recipe. This will help to keep things exciting and enjoy plenty of delicious fruits and veggies. 

  • Get creative, add different fruit or vegetable into each meal or snack you have - Use it as a way to mix up your meal-times! Adding a couple of different fruits or vegetables with each meal will help you to maintain a variety, keep the daily count topping up!