Ok, so here is a picture of me holding a plastic bag, not very interesting. However, it was this plastic bag from the back of the cupboard that my husband thought would make an interesting blog post. This bag from the Co-op helpfully illustrates the portion sizes of a range of fruit and vegetables that contribute towards your 5 a day. I have been thinking a lot lately about how much fruit and veg you need to eat in order to make up your 5 a day. While I was reviewing Rachel de Thample’s book ‘Less Meat More Veg’, where she lists a number of fruit and veg and their portion sizes, I started to realise I really had no idea about fruit and veg portion sizes. In fact, the more people I asked about their ideas on portion size for fruit and veg the more I felt that not many of us have a clue about how much we should be eating.
It is interesting to note that last year the whole notion of 5 fruit and veg a day seemed up for debate. A study ,of over 400,000 people, publicised by the newspapers suggested that 5 a day did not have a significant impact on cancer. I was amazed to read that the 5 a day mantra was decided upon first in America because it seemed an achievable and easy to remember number. I might seem really stupid here but what lies behind the 5 a day mantra is actually 5 or more a day, not just 5 a day at all! In Australia they call it 5+ a day, so we should all be eating at least 5 a day! So what is going on here, should we be eating more veg or does it make no difference in the fight against cancer? It seems to me, on reading around this subject, that despite the recent study there is more to eating 5 a day than just fighting cancer; our fruit and veg intake helps fight against heart disease, aids our immune system and provides vital vitamins and nutrients for the healthy functions of our vital organs. So I’m going to plough ahead and after reviewing my diet I’ve got a lot more fruit and veg to cram into our weekly meal plans!
If this has got you thinking about your 5 a day portion sizes check out my guide to portion size for some of my favourite fruit and veg:
- Fruit Juice – 150ml
- Tomato – I medium sized; or 7 cherry tomatoes
- Sultanas – 1 heaped tablespoon
- Apple – 1 medium apple
- Peas – 3 heaped tablespoons
- Banana – 1 medium sized
- Carrots – 3 heaped tablespoons
- Broccoli – 4/5 medium florets
- Onion – 1 medium sized
- Satsumas – 2 small
- Kiwi fruit – 2
This is just a few of the huge list I’ve been looking through. If you’d like to know any more or have a specific veg/fruit you’d like me to include leave a comment below and I can add it the list.