What I need each day

What I need each day

Have you ever wondered what you need to eat each day? How much protein and carbohydrate should you get? Which types of fat do you need and where can you get them? This handy chart will answer all your questions and tells you what you need, how much you need and where you can get it – it’s got the lot!






Fruit & Vegetables to include: Dark Green Leafy Vegetables, Orange Vegetables, Fresh Fruit, Dried Fruit

Vitamins such as Beta Carotene (makes vitamin A), Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folate), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K

Minerals/trace elements such as Calcium, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium



Fresh Fruit

1 medium piece the size of a tennis ball

Dried Fruit

1 – 1 ½ tablespoons or 1 golf ball

Green or Root Veg

2-3 tablespoons or ½ tennis ball

Salad Veg

80g or 1 large cereal bowl


Cereals & Grains (eg Wholwheat Pasta, Wholemeal Bread, Brown Rice, Oats, Rye, Buckwheat)

Vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6

Minerals/trace elements such as Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc


Cooked Brown Rice

5-6 tablespoons or 1 teacup

Breakfast Cereal

1 regular sized cereal bowl

Wholemeal Pasta

1 cup (cooked) as side dish or 2 cups as main dish

Wholemeal Bread

2 slices

2 or 3

Pulses (Lentils, Beans, Chickpeas, Soya and products made from them),
Nuts and Nut Butters or Seeds

Vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9

Minerals/trace elements such as Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc

Healthy Fats

Peas, Beans and Lentils

½-1 cup (cooked)

Tofu, Soya-based Meat Alternatives or Beanburgers

100 g

Nuts (unsalted)

2 tablespoons or a small handful


Vegetable Oil (eg Flaxseed, Hempseed or Virgin Olive Oil, used cold; Rapeseed Oil for cooking

Vegetables Margarines

Best for omega-3 fats:
½ tablespoon flaxseed oil or
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds

Vitamin E (Vegetable Oils), Vitamins A & D (Fortified Margarine)


Essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats (Flaxseed, Soya, Walnut and Hemp Oils)


Ideally, everyone should take a B12 supplement
providing 50 micrograms daily or 2,000 weekly. You can
also top your intake up with B12 Fortified Foods, eg
Fortified Plant Milk, Breakfast Cereal, Low-Sodium Yeast

Vitamin D is produced by sunlight on the skin in
summer months.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin D

1.5 litres of water per day (six to eight glasses) to be consumed
(All teas, plant milks, homemade smoothies etc count. Juice can contribute but as it contains sugar,
you should limit consumption to no more than one 150ml glass a day)

Tips on healthy eating

Every Day Think Colour!

Think rainbow and brighten your meals. The chemicals that give foods their beautiful colours are also what protect your health! So take a few minutes to add colour to every meal. Here are a few ideas:


Add mango, guava, banana, pineapple, nuts and seeds to your cereal or porridge (posho) and sprinkle with cinnamon to sweeten

Make a smoothie using fruit and unsalted nuts with soya or almond milk

Add grilled tomatoes to mushrooms on wholegrain toast


Add salads with a vibrant mix of colours – eg lettuce leaves, sliced mango, apple, avocado, nuts, pepper, sweetcorn

Add tomatoes and salad leaves to your usual sandwich

Add more veg and any peas/beans/lentils to your soups, stews and curries

Avocados are very nutritious – try with grated carrot and tomato on wholegrain bread

Evening Meal

Add extra veg and any peas/beans/lentils to casseroles, pasta, curries, samosas and rice dishes

Eat at least two types of veg with your main meal


Snack on a high-protein food such as mixed unsalted nuts or seeds with fresh or unsweetened dried fruit – any you enjoy. The protein and fibre slow down the release of the fruit sugars and that’s what your body and brain love!

Raw carrots or celery dipped in hummus or guacamole

Handful of cherry tomatoes and oatcakes

Rainbow Reminder: The more colours you add to your food – the more health-boosting nutrients you eat!

Every Day Think Smell!

Herbs and spices are packed with antioxidants that fight many diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers as well as some of the effects of ageing. You only need small amounts of herbs and spices to boost the flavour of your food and your health. Use what you enjoy, here are a few examples: black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander (cilantro), cumin, fennel, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, paprika and turmeric.