Why 5 A DAY?

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

5 A DAY highlights the health benefits of getting five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables every day. That's five portions of fruit and veg altogether, not five portions of each.

Five reasons to get five portions

  • Fruit and vegetables taste delicious 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 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 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.

5 A DAY is based on advice from the World Health Organization, which 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.

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. 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?