GO! Pesto™ - 5 A Day Pesto - Is Pesto One Of Your Five A Day? (2024)

GO! Pesto™ - 5 A Day Pesto - Is Pesto One Of Your Five A Day? (1)

Short answer
Even though pesto is packed full of vitamins, iron, calcium, and healthy fats, sadly, it doesn't contribute anything towards your 5 a day.

Long answer
The 5-a-day concept is well-intentioned but far from universally popular. Ready-meal producers love the scheme because it enables them to shout about how many of your five a day you are getting per meal, but research consistently shows that people simply don’t understand what it all means.

Here's how the NHS defines a single unit:

• 80g of fresh, tinned, or frozen fruit or vegetables
• 30g of dried fruit
• 150g of fruit juice or vegetable smoothie
• 80g of beans or pulses

Apart from a couple of notable exceptions, there are very few pesto sauces that contain any of the above. But wait, surely the herbs and garlic go towards your five a day, right? Sadly, they don't even get an honourable mention on the NHS's list.

In the case of pestos that do count towards your 5 a day, sun-dried tomato pesto for example, a recommended portion size of 50g of pesto per personwill only give you around 10g of dried tomato. That's just 1/15 of your daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.

It's not all doom and gloom, though. Unless we're in the mood for nothing more than a piping hot bowl of pesto pasta, we try to incorporate plenty of vegetables into our favourite pesto recipes. Here's a salad, a soup, and a stew to get you started.

Use left/right arrows to navigate the slideshow or swipe left/right if using a mobile device

GO! Pesto™ - 5 A Day Pesto - Is Pesto One Of Your Five A Day? (2024)


GO! Pesto™ - 5 A Day Pesto - Is Pesto One Of Your Five A Day? ›

Even though pesto is packed full of vitamins, iron, calcium, and healthy fats, sadly, it doesn't contribute anything towards your 5 a day.

Is it okay to eat pesto every day? ›

You might not want to douse everything you eat with pesto, but you wouldn't want to do that with any food. Variety and moderation are important. Pesto can be a healthier replacement for cream-based sauces since it's made with olive oil and nuts.

Does store-bought pesto go bad? ›

Unopened store-bought pesto can typically last 1-2 weeks past the printed date if kept in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer. Once opened, it should be consumed within 4 to 7 days, depending on the brand and storage conditions.

Is pesto healthier than tomato? ›

As you would expect, pesto's wider variety of ingredients means it does slightly better in the vitamin and mineral stakes. Pesto outsmarts tomato sauce in many of these, but the pasta sauce still provides a sizeable chunk of your recommended daily targets.

Is pesto good for inflammation? ›

It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, and one component of its natural volatile oils (called eugenol) actually inhibits the very same enzyme in the body as many non-steriodal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

Does pesto count as 5 a day? ›

Even though pesto is packed full of vitamins, iron, calcium, and healthy fats, sadly, it doesn't contribute anything towards your 5 a day.

Can you eat a whole jar of pesto? ›

As for eating pesto neat, well, if that's your thing, go for it. We think its richness means you'll probably get sick of it long before you reach the bottom of the jar. Even pesto obsessives like us can't demolish a whole jar in one sitting.

Can I freeze pesto? ›

While you can freeze pesto in full-batch amounts, it is also convenient to freeze pesto in smaller portions to be used as quick flavor-enhancers (without being the full flavor force of the dish)—swirl in soups or stir into salad dressings, or add a dollop to a bowl of rice.

Why does pesto make me gassy? ›

An adverse reaction after eating basil pesto may not be related to an allergic reaction. If you develop gas, bloating or an upset stomach you may be sensitive to some of the ingredients, such as garlic or olive oil.

How to use pesto from a jar? ›

Swirl into soup before serving, add a spoonful on the side of roast chicken and salad, or dollop over your favourite lasagne. If you've only got a scraping left, pour a little extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar into the jar, screw on the lid and shake to make a salad dressing.

Is pesto good for high blood pressure? ›

As long as you don't have allergies, the ingredients used to make pesto are generally good for you. In fact, they may help reduce your blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and cancer risk. Homemade pesto is easy to make.

Is pesto okay for weight loss? ›

Given all of the above, pesto can undoubtedly be considered a healthy food, and as long as you keep track of portions, it can also be part of a diet that supports a healthy weight. Pesto is nutrient-dense, and because of its fat content, it's also calorically dense.

Is pesto good for the liver? ›

Good news! The weeds in the garden can contribute to this delicious pesto that provides nourishing phyto-nutrients to support our liver health. This pesto goes well on crackers, in pasta dishes, or with vegetable sticks.

Is it OK to eat pesto everyday? ›

While homemade and store-bought pesto sauces can vary in nutrition facts, pesto is generally a rich source of healthy fats. Because it is made with nutritious ingredients, pesto can be consumed as part of a balanced diet.

What is the number one food to reduce inflammation? ›

Studies suggest that some foods can help decrease chronic inflammation. These include olive oil, certain berries, fruit, vegetables, spices, and fish. Inflammation can be both good and bad. On the one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury.

Is pesto good for anxiety? ›

"Holy Basil" in particular has been found to have a calming effect on the mind and assist with sleep. Include basil in meals by adding it to tomato based sauces. You can make your own basil pesto at home and add it to meats, vegetables, potatoes, sandwiches and pasta dishes.

Is pesto healthy for your stomach? ›

Studies on Pesto and Digestive Health

However, studies on the individual ingredients of pesto, such as basil and garlic, suggest potential benefits for digestive health. For example, basil has been found to possess anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that may help alleviate symptoms associated with IBS.

Is pesto an ultra-processed food? ›

Energy bars, pesto, almond milk and protein drinks are all ultra processed foods, to name a few.

Why do I love pesto so much? ›

Classic pesto is renowned for its bright-green brilliance and for being one of the few Italian sauces that isn't touched by heat during preparation. With pesto, coarseness is key—after all, the term pesto is derived from the Italian word pestare, which translates to grind or crush.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Last Updated:

Views: 5399

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Birthday: 2000-07-07

Address: 5050 Breitenberg Knoll, New Robert, MI 45409

Phone: +2556892639372

Job: Investor Mining Engineer

Hobby: Sketching, Cosplaying, Glassblowing, Genealogy, Crocheting, Archery, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is The Hon. Margery Christiansen, I am a bright, adorable, precious, inexpensive, gorgeous, comfortable, happy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.