Research shows that eating three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits daily helps to decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, and more! But, what counts as a serving and how realistic is it to eat 5 a day?

What counts as a serving?

– 1 Cup of raw or cooked fruit/vegetable

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– 1 Cup 100% fruit/vegetable juice
– ½ Cup dried fruit
– 2 Cups raw leafy green vegetables or 1 cup cooked leafy green vegetables

How to sneak 5 servings into your diet

Consuming fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be boring! You’re more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they are jazzed up a bit. Try filling ½ your plate with produce at each meal to achieve the 5 servings a day. Below, are

Examples of how to incorporate the “5 a day” into your diet in an enticing way

5 a day type breakfast: choose one of these options to obtain at least a serving to start off the day right

California Toast (~1 serving vegetables):

– ½ avocado

– ¼ Cup sliced tomatoes

– Add on top of two eggs and a whole wheat English muffin

Grilled Banana & Nut Butter Quesadilla (1.5 servings fruit):

–  1 Banana sliced

–  ¼ Cup raisins

– Spread nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew) onto ½ tortilla fold in half and grill on both sides

Greek Blackberry-Banana Waffles (1 serving fruit):

– ½ Cup blackberries

– ½ Banana sliced

– Add on top of Whole grain Mini waffles with plain Greek yogurt

5 a day type lunch: choose one of these options to obtain at least a serving for your mid-day meal

Vegetable whole wheat wrap (1 serving vegetables):

– ½ Avocado

– ¼ Cup carrots

– ½ Cup spinach

– Add to Edamame on a whole wheat wrap spread with hummus

Open-faced Mushroom Sandwich (1.5 servings vegetables):

– ½ Cup arugula

– 1 Cup mushrooms

– On top of a whole wheat Baguette spread with goat cheese

Apple-Raisin Chicken Salad (1.25 servings fruit & 0.25 serving vegetables):

– 1 chopped apple

– ¼ Cup diced celery

– ¼ cup raisins

– Add to chicken salad

what is meant by 5 a day

5 a day type dinner: choose one of these options to obtain up to 3 servings of vegetables

“Loaded” Sweet Potato:  (2.5 servings vegetables):

– ½ baked sweet potato

– ½ cup cooked beans/lentils

– ¼ Cup cooked corn

– ¼ Cup cooked spinach

– ½ Cup fresh tomatoes

– ½ cup cooked broccoli- Top with a small handful of reduced fat shredded cheese & salsa

Asian Stir Fry:  (~3 servings vegetables):

– ½ Cup Snow Peas

– ¼ Cup Baby corn

– ¼ Cup Water chestnuts

– ¾ Cup cooked Bok Choy

– ¼ Cup Carrots

– ¼ Cup Broccoli

– Add fresh ginger, sesame seeds, tofu & tempeh

Stuffed Eggplant “Pizza”: (3 servings vegetables):

– ¼ Cup tomatoes

– ¼ Cup Broccoli

– 1 Cup cooked Spinach

– ½ Cup Lentils

– Sauté then bake on top of a Portobello mushroom & add low fat shredded cheese

5 a day type snacks: choose one of these options to obtain at least a serving of fruit

Melon & Vanilla Yogurt (1 serving fruits):

– ½ Cup Cantaloupe

– ½ Cup Honeydew

– Dip in vanilla yogurt

Apple Nachos (1.25 servings fruit):

– 1 sliced Apple

– ¼ Cup unsweetened coconut

– Topped with honey, sliced almonds, chopped pecans, and a few chocolate chips

Nutella-Raspberry Banana Bites (1.25 servings fruit):

– 1 thickly sliced Banana

– Spread Nutella on one side and then top with a Raspberry

Do you make sure you get your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day? Our balanced vegetarian diet plan will help you do just that!

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