What counts towards your 5 a day?

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Pack plenty of fruit and veg into your pregnancy diet

5 a day

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Healthy eating during pregnancy is essential for your well being and will help give your baby the best possible start. A big part of eating a good balanced diet is making sure you're including enough fruit and vegetables, so understanding what exactly counts towards your 5 a day is important.

Nearly all fruits and vegetables, including dried, frozen, tinned or canned can count towards getting your 5 a day. So do beans and pulses such as lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans.

Fruit and vegetable juices counts as well. If you drink juice, make sure it's unsweetened so you can avoid any added sugar. 100% fruit or vegetable juice, not from concentrate, will count as one portion. Juices are high in natural sugars, though, so try to limit the amount that you drink.

Smoothies can count as up to two portions per day. Shop bought smoothies often don't contain all the edible pulped fruit and/or vegetables that are really beneficial so try making your own at home.

Vegetables cooked in dishes such as soup, stews or pasta dishes also count as one portion. If you're buying pre-prepared meals and sauces some of these can also contain fruit and veg which can count. Just be careful and make sure you check the labels as often these are high in salt, sugar and fat.

Potatoes don't count as one of your 5 a day but you should still include them as part of a balanced diet. Because they are a starchy food they're a great source of energy and fibre, especially with their skins left on. Potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C. The reason potatoes don't count as part of your 5 a day is because they are generally used in place of other sources of starch such as bread, pasta or rice.

However, sweet potatoes, parsnips, swedes and turnips do count towards your 5 a day.

For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life








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