We all know that eating enough fruit and vegetables is crucial to maintaining a healthy diet. And while it’s always been suggested that five portions a day is sufficient, plant scientist James Wong has recently shared his belief that the actual number is ten.
In 10-a-Day The Easy Way, Wong highlights the importance of eating an impressive ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day. And while this may sound like an unachievable amount, there are actually so many easy ways to increase your uptake without even realising.
So whether you attempt to reach ten a day, or are happy with five, here are five surprising foods that count in your daily fruit & veg intake:
Cheap, cheerful, and surprisingly tasty (if you combine them with the right things), lentils are packed with protein and fibre. Only three table spoons of lentils constitutes as one of your five (or ten) a day.
Yes, even a tin of delicious spaghetti hoops counts towards your fruit & veg intake, thanks to the tomato sauce. You need half of a 400g tin, and while we don’t recommend doing this too often, it’s a cheap and easy way to occasionally boost your intake.
Tomatoes in any form are excellent, it seems. Be it spaghetti hoops and baked beans or straight-up tomato puree, the vitamins, folic acids and other goodness are undeniably good for you. All you need to eat is one heaped tablespoon, too.
While this may sound a little surprising, it’s actually a no brainer; if an ice lolly is made from 100% fruit juice, it will count as one portion of fruit. These are incredibly easy to make, and are great for healthy snacking in the summer time.
Chickpeas also count towards your five a day; who knew?! Whether you eat them in a stew or make your own houmous, chickpeas are little balls of gold. Just three heaped teaspoons will count, but no matter how many you eat, they will still only act as one portion of your five a day.
We all love a generous dollop of guac on our nachos, and the answer is nearly always a resounding ‘yes’ when asked if we mind paying extra for the stuff in our burrito. But while the accompaniments can put you in the danger zone (think salty crisps, lots of cheese and endless amounts of sour cream), guacamole is actually pretty good for you. The high amount of avocado within this beloved dip means it can contribute towards your ten.
Potatoes are not a part of your fruit & veg intake, but luckily for us, their tastier cousins are. Be it a deliciously warm baked sweet potato, or some sweet potato fries, all you need is 80g worth of sweet potatoes (a medium potato).
Yep, olives do count towards your daily intake; but you need to be wary. Despite containing a hefty supply of vitamin E, olives are also high in salt. Unfortunately, you’d need about thirty of them to count for one of your portions of fruit & veg, so it’s not the easiest way to up your intake. You can feel a little less guilty about that martini, though…