When it comes to looking after our health – we all know how good fruit and veg is for us. But two in three of us are still struggling to eat the recommended five daily portions, and a study by Imperial College London has suggested that we should actually be aiming to double that to keep healthy and reduce the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.
But fitting in those extra portions may not be as tricky as you think, and you may be getting more of your daily requirements than you realise. We spoke to Nicola Shubrook, a nutritionist from Urban Wellness, about what the surprising contributors to your five a day are.
1. Baked beans
Yep, pulses (lentils or beans) count towards your five-a-day, so your favourite comfort meal may be healthier than you think. Beans are good sources of protein and carbohydrate, as well as containing essential vitamins and minerals. “Half a tin is classed as one portion of your five a day, but it can also contain around 1g of salt and over 9g of sugar (especially Heinz),” says Nicola.
“Keep in mind that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults of salt is no more than 6g a day and for sugar it’s 30g a day. Opt for the no added sugar versions, where you can to still get your five a day but without the extra sugar, and they tend to be lower in salt too!”
How much? 1 x 5-a-day serving = 80g