Wednesday 13 December 2017

Promotion: How can I get my five-a-day?

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Dr Evelyn Hannon

I find it quite difficult to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day! Would you have any advice to make it a little easier?

LowLow nutritionist Dr Evelyn Hannon replies:

I often find that people are surprised when they find out what they can include in their five a day.

Frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables all count, as does fresh and 100pc fruit juice (150ml glass) and also beans such as baked beans or kidney beans (three heaped tablespoons). Remember, when it comes to beans or juice, you can only count them as one portion no matter how much you eat or drink.

The best way to succeed is to think about ways to add fruit and vegetables that suit your diet and lifestyle.

For example, if you usually have cereal in the morning for breakfast, why not have a glass of 100pc fruit juice with it and sprinkle some raisins over it (one heaped tablespoon counts as a portion) and that’s two of your five portions out of the way already!

If you normally have toast, why not chop up a banana to have with it or add some chopped fruit to yoghurt. Add grilled tomato or mushrooms to a cooked breakfast.

Make some homemade vegetable soup for lunch, add vegetables to sandwiches and stews. Have fruit salad, stewed fruit or tinned fruit for dessert.

If you buy frozen pizza, why not add some more fruit or vegetables before you cook it?

If you eat out a lot, choose fruit or vegetable based starters (such as melon or salad) and if you have dessert, choose a fruit based one.

Add a tomato-based sauce to pasta as this also counts towards your five a day.

Why not meet a friend for a smoothie after work instead of a coffee? Some smoothies can actually contain up to two of your five a day!

In order to keep it up long term, it is a good idea to vary the types of fruit and vegetables that you eat so as you won’t get bored. Hope this helps and good luck!

Thanks to LowLow Nutritionist Dr Evelyn Hannon RPHNutr. For more information on LowLow check out

If you have a question for Dr Evelyn, email

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