5 a day

Why your '5-a-day' is important to your health

All national health authorities recommend eating five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables every day to promote good health and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. Research shows that people who eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day have half the risk of cancer and one-third the risk of heart disease compared to people who eat fewer fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and vegetables promote good health because they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and other essential nutrients. Additionally, they are low in fat and calories and contain no cholesterol. Fruits and vegetables also contain many non-nutrient plant compounds called phytochemicals ["fight-o-chemicals"] that also provide additional protection to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

What constitutes a 'serving'?

  • 1 medium-sized piece of fruit (e.g. banana, apple)
  • 1 cup raw, leafy veg or salad
  • 1/2 cup cut-up fresh or canned fruit
  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned vegetables
  • 3/4 cup 100% fruit juice or 3/4 cup 100% vegetable juice
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (e.g. raisins, dried apricots, prunes)
  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned beans, peas or lentils

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