Why 5 A DAY?

Fruit and vegetables are part of a balanced diet and can help us stay healthy. That's why it's so important that we get enough of them.

Evidence shows there are significant health benefits to getting at least five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables every day. That's five portions of fruit and veg in total, not five portions of each.

The World Health Organization recommends eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Five reasons to eat five portions of fruit and veg

  • Fruit and vegetables are 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 constipation and other digestion problems. A diet high in fibre can also reduce your risk of bowel cancer.
  • They can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
  • Fruit and vegetables contribute to a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Fruit and vegetables taste delicious and there's so much variety to choose from.

Fruit and vegetables are also usually low in fat and calories (provided you don't fry them or roast them in lots of oil). That's why 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. 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. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or pure juices. Potatoes and cassava don't count because they mainly contribute starch to the diet.

To learn more about what counts towards your 5 A DAY, go to 5 A DAY: what counts?

Getting your 5 A DAY is easy. In this 5 A DAY section, you'll find lots of advice and information, from portion sizes to recipes and restaurant tips, to help you and your family fit five portions into your daily lives.

You can also learn more by downloading this Just Eat More 5 A DAY leaflet (PDF, 342kb)

Got a question about 5 A DAY?

If you have an enquiry about 5 A DAY that isn't answered in our 5 A DAY FAQs, please email the 5 A DAY team at Public Health England: phe.enquiries@phe.gov.uk.

Page last reviewed: 12/12/2013

Next review due: 12/12/2015


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