Why 5 A Day
Fruit and Vegetables are part of a healthy, balanced diet and it's important that we eat enough.
The government introduced the '5 A Day' campaign based on advice from the (W.H.O.) World Health Organisation, which recommends that we eat 400g's of fruit and vegetables a day to reduce the risks of heart disease, strokes and some types of cancer.
The '5 A Day' campaign portion is 80g's of Fruit or Vegetables, times five a day equalling 400g's of either or both mixed.
Reasons for eating '5 A Day'
Improve and bolster our immune system.
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 can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion. A diet of high fibre can also reduce your risk of bowel cancer.
They can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
Fruit and Vegetables contribute to a healthy balanced diet.
Fruit and Vegetables taste delicious and there's so much variety to choose from.
Fruit and Vegetables in there natural form are usually low in fat and calories, and eating them can help maintain a healthy weight and a healthy heart.
To get the most out of your '5 A Day' your 5 portions should be a variety because Fruit and Vegetables contain different combinations of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Your '5 A Day' can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juice. The only Fruit and Vegetables that are not part of of the '5 A Day' are Potatoes, Yams and Cassava, as they are mainly starch.
At a glance: What Counts?
80g's of fresh, canned or frozen Fruit and Vegetables, count as one portion of your '5 A Day' (Canned - opt for natural juice, or water with no added sugar or salt.)
30g's of dried fruit counts as one portion. Dried fruit should be eaten as part of a meal not a snack to reduce tooth decay.
150ml/g of fruit juice/vegetable juice or smoothie. Limiting this to just one portion, as crushing fruit and vegetables breaks down the fibre releasing the sugars. They should be drunk as part of a meal not a lone so to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
80g's of beans and pulses, only count once as part of your '5 A Day' no matter how many you eat. This is due to being a good source of fibre however very few other nutrients.
Is '5 A Day' enough
In 2014, a University College London study, made the headlines when it suggested we should aim for '7 A Day' instead of the recommended '5 A Day'. It also cited that tinned and frozen fruit were a unhelpful dietary contribution, and vegetables were also found to provide a lower risk of disease and early mortality than fruit.
The study caused confusion and many questioned the validity of the recommended '5 A Day' guidelines. The NHS quickly responded highlighting the limitations of the study, and it didn't take into account other factors as in long form dietary changes.
The NHS said getting '7 A Day' is fantastic, but realistic terms the minimum requirement for good health and well-being is '5 A Day'.
In 2016 a European study into eating habits in the EU revealed that the UK is the best nation in Europe for eating Frit and Vegetables.
In 2016 Public Health England say that 'Five and Vegetables a day is an affordable and achievable target and the corner-stone of a healthy balanced diet.
What Fruit and Vegetables are you eating and how?