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Foodie Superheroes Everyday

In the last blog we explored why eating your 5 or more portions of fruit and veggies a day can significantly help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In addition, these dietary superheroes can also help to maintain a healthy, comfortable gut and have the added bonus of being naturally low in calories so can also help out

in maintaining a healthy weight.

Almost all fruits, vegetables, and an amount of beans and pulses count towards your 5-A-Day (400g) but how do you make sure you are getting your fair share of these nutrient rich foods.

Firstly, it’s good to understand how much counts as a portion: -

  • A handful (80g) of fruit or vegetables. As a guide an average apple or a small orange weights about 80g.

  • Fresh, canned or frozen all count.

  • Heaped tablespoon (30g) of dried fruit such as raisins, dates, banana chips and figs.

  • Small glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie (150ml). These can only contribute 1 portion as they do not contain the fantastic fibre normally found in the fruit or vegetable peel.

  • A handful (80g) of beans and pulses. These can only count as 1 of your 5-A-Day as although packed with fibre they contain fewer nutrients than fruit and veggies.

In the UK potatoes, cassava and yams don’t count towards our 5-A-Day. This is because we consume them as a starchy carbohydrate traditionally eaten as a source of energy. Sweet potatoes, swedes, parsnips and turnips do count though, as they are traditionally eaten alongside the carbohydrate part of the meal.

There are lots of ways to include more fruit and veggies into your diet every day. Some top tips:

  • Include some colourful fruit and veggies in every meal and every snack.

  • At breakfast add fruit to your cereal, porridge or yoghurt or add tomatoes or mushrooms to a hot breakfast.

  • Include a small glass of juice.

  • For lunch add salad to your wrap or sandwich; veggies to your omelette; have your jacket potato with baked beans and salad on the side

  • When serving dinner aim for half your plate to be veggies or salad.

  • Add pineapple, sweetcorn or peppers to your pizza.

  • Choose tomato-based sauces for your pasta dishes instead of cream-based ones.

  • Add a handful of beans, peas, spinach or sweetcorn to your soups and sauces.

  • Keep a good selection of frozen and canned veggies and fruit to quickly add into dishes such as frozen chopped spinach and tinned cherry tomatoes into a Bolognese sauce

  • Swap some of your sugary snacks such as replacing a biscuit with a refreshing slice of watermelon, bowl of summer ripe strawberries or houmous and crudités.

  • Finally remember that adding these superheroes to our diet does not need to be costly – less expensive carrots, cabbage, swede, turnip, apples and bananas have as many superpowers as exotic fruits.

If achieving your optimum nutrition interests you I can be contacted directly on 07958-765337 and by email: - or browse the packages at

Happy Eating,

Nina Thomas

BSc (Hons), MSc, ANutr

Registered Associate Nutritionist & Food Scientist

Bridgford & Bingham Nutrition

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