What should be included in your 5 a day…
The government recommends that as part of a healthy diet an individual should eat five pieces of fruit and vegetable per day. These can be consumed in various forms, be it from fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced.
A portion varies on the size of the specific food.
For apples, bananas or other similar sized fruit a portion is one item, whereas for plums or smaller edibles multiple servings may be needed.
A desert bowl of salad is approximately one portion.
Many food types outline on their packaging how many portions of fruit and vegetables they contain.
Nutritionists believe it is important for us to consume these items regularly as the vitamins they contain cannot be stored for long periods of time by the body, meaning they quickly need replenishing.
A fruit is defined as a flowering plant with disseminating seeds, which is edible.
In practical terms, examples of fruit are apples, bananas and oranges. Some fruits, such as strawberries, are seasonal and can only be bought at certain times of year.
There are also organic fruits, which are marketed as having been produced in more ethical circumstances.
Specific fruits have unique nourishing qualities
Blueberries, for example, contain flavonoids that fight infection and help circulation, while tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant protecting against radicals.
Some fruits are often referred to as super foods if they have particularly potent replenishing qualities.
A vegetable is the edible part of a plant, other than a sweet fruit or seed. Rather than a scientific word, it is based on culinary tradition i.e. what has been identified historically in this category.
Typically, vegetables are thought of as savoury foods eaten in main meals, rather than deserts.
Vegetables harbor a different set of vitamins and minerals to fruits, with each type of plant having its own set of nourishing properties.
Broccoli offers consumers the benefit of a range of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, while onions protect the body against illnesses such as diabetes and osteoporosis.
For this reason, it is essential that individuals eat a spectrum of vegetables.