Power of 5

Fruits and vegetables are nature’s powerhouses when it comes to providing the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. They’re also packed with phytonutrients, important for healthy diet. So, why 5-a-day? Nutritionists and health experts actually recommend a minimum of 5-a-day, but fret not. Reaching your target is a lot easier than you think thanks to our deliciously healthy recipe ideas, portion guidelines and easy shopping solutions.   


Berried treasures

‘Berries are the original superfoods because they’re packed with powerful antioxidants called Anthocyanins,’ says Waitrose Nutritionist, Nicola Selwood.

A healthier way to add sweetness to dishes, sprinkle over breakfast cereals, defrost a handful in your porridge, or scatter a few on your favourite yogurt. 

A portion (80g) is roughly 2 handfuls of smaller berries like blueberries, raspberries, blackcurrants or 7 strawberries. The portion size for dried berries is 30g or a heaped tablespoon.


Vegetables to cook

Did you know carrots are better eaten cooked? Cooking carrots releases beta carotene, which our bodies convert into vitamin A. Tomatoes also release a powerful antioxidant called lycopene when cooked. 
Fill your plate with as many different types of vegetables as you can and just like fruit, remember to ‘eat a rainbow’.

A portion of cooked vegetables is roughly 3 heaped tablespoons including frozen and canned veg, which all count towards your 5 a day. When choosing canned vegetables, opt for ones without added salt or sugar.


Get fruity

Oranges, apples, plums and bananas - different fruits provide different nutrients. That's why it’s important to eat a variety of fruits. Oranges provide folic acid, which helps with tiredness, while bananas provide a source of potassium, which helps to regulate your blood pressure.

Eating a rainbow of fruits is key to a healthy diet and ensures you meet your nutrient requirements. One portion is 80g, which is roughly 2 small fruits such as plums, 1 medium fruit such as an apple and half a large fruit such as a grapefruit.


Super salads

Snacking on raw salad vegetables makes achieving your 5-a-day easy. Peppers are a good source of vitamin C – surprisingly twice as much as an orange. Spinach leaves are full of iron, which can help reduce tiredness and fatigue; and rocket is packed with calcium.

Drizzle salads with lemon juice for a vitamin C boost (it also helps your body absorb iron in the vegetables).  A portion towards your 5-a-day is a full cereal bowl. Our top tip? Fill your plate with as much salad as you can to cut down the calories in your main meal.  


Power pulses & beansBeans and pulses provide protein, starchy carbohydrate, fibre and a wealth of vitamins and minerals.

Versatile and tasty, they can be used to replace some or all of the meat in classic meals such as cottage pie, which increases fibre while reducing the saturated fat content. 

Fibre is lacking in the British diet and with experts recommending 30g a day, beans and pulses are a great way to meet this target. A portion is 3 heaped tablespoons, but only one portion counts towards your 5-a-day.