Eating Your 5 A Day - Why Is It Important?

Posted by Sarah Cox on Monday, April 28, 2014

Fruit and vegetables need to be part of a balanced diet as they can can help you stay healthy. That's why it so important that you get enough of them.

 

Most people have heard of the concept of eating 5 A DAY. This is based on advice from the World Health Organization, which recommends eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day in order to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.  This means that we need to be eating at least five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables every day. 

 

The five main reasons to eat your 5 A DAY are:
  • Fruit and vegetables taste good and there's so much variety to choose from.
  • They're a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium.
  • They're an excellent source of dietary fibre, which helps maintain a healthy gut and prevent digestion problems.
  • They can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers, e.g. bowel cancer.
  • They are generally low in fat and calories (provided you don't fry them or roast them in lots of oil). So, eating them can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy.

To get the most benefit out of your 5 A DAY, your five portions should include a variety of fruit and vegetables and not five portions of the same fruit or vegetable. This is because different fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

 

Almost all fruit and vegetables count towards your 5 A DAY. However, they don't have to be fresh to count as a portion. Nor do they have to be eaten on their own: they count if they're part of a meal or dish.


Tags: fruit  vegetables  '5 a day' 

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Sarah Cox
Balham, London
Sarah Cox

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