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What counts as a portion of fruit and vegetable

There is plenty of scientific evidence to confirm that in order to protect us from disease we need to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day, and preferably seven. One study of over 65,000 people showed 7 portions is associated with a 42% reduction in risk of death, Another study of 55,000 people found 7 or more portions tripled one’s chances of being in optimal health while 5 servings doubled one’s it.

But what counts as one portion? The Food Standards Agency defines a portion as 80g in weight or a small handful of food or 150g of fruit or vegetable juice.

Variety is key, as this is what will provide you with an array of essential nutrients, so individual food types can only be counted once each day, no matter how much you eat of that particular fruit or vegetable, which means that if you’ve had two bananas that is still only one of your 5-a-day. Juice also has a limit on it and only counts as one portion, however much you drink.

The chart below is a guide for what counts.

Categories: ,
Fruit:· 1 piece of fresh fruit like a banana, apple, pear, peach or orange

· 2 pieces of small fruit such as plums or satsumas

· 1 small handful grapes

· 2 handfuls of blueberries or raspberries

· 7 strawberries

· 1 large slice of fruit such as melon, pineapple, papaya

· Half a grapefruit or avocado

· 3 tablespoons of fresh fruit salad, stewed fruit or canned fruit (drained)

Dried Fruit:· 1 tablespoon of dried fruit like raisins, cranberries

· 2 dried apricots or dried figs

· 3 dried dates

· 4 dried apple rings

· Handful of banana chips


Vegetable:· 3 heaped tablespoons of raw, cooked, frozen or canned vegetables (carrot, sweetcorn, peas)

· 4 heaped tablespoons of green vegetables (kale, spinach, spring greens, green beans)

· 2 spears of broccoli

· 8 florets of cauliflower

· Potatoes do not count as one of your 5 a day



· 1 cereal bowl of salad vegetables (lettuce, watercress, spinach, mixed salad leaves)

· I medium tomato or 7 cherry tomatoes

· 1 ½ sticks of celery

· 5cm piece of cucumber

Pulses and beans:· 3 heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannelloni beans, butter beans or chick peas.
Juice:· 1 glass (150ml) pure fruit or vegetable juice.

Learn more about nutrition in my best-selling book ‘How to Prevent Burnout’ and my latest book, Life Force. The revolutionary 7-step plan for optimum energy’.

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