As part of a balanced diet, fruit and vegetables can help us stay healthy. The UK Government has been telling us that we need to have five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, which includes 5 portions of fruit and vegetables together.
Five reasons for us to consume our five portions
- Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals that include Vitamin C, potassium and folate;
- They are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can prevent constipation, digestion problems and help maintain a healthy gut. Fibre also reduces our risk of bowel cancer;
- Fruit and vegetables reduce our risk of some cancers, strokes and heart disease;
- They also contribute to a healthy and balanced diet;
- They act as powerful antioxidants that can protect the body from free radicals that change our cells.
The WHO (World Health Organisation) maintain that we should be consuming at least a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day, so that we lower our risk of strokes, heart disease, type 2 Diabetes and obesity.
Fruit and vegetables are naturally low in fat and contain few calories, which is one of the reasons they help keep our hearts healthy and help us maintain our weight as part of a balanced diet. There are also health benefits to eating canned fruit in natural juice; frozen vegetables and fruit smoothies.
Fruit and vegetables classed as ‘super-foods’ contain high levels of phytonutrients and are even more beneficial for your health. For now, it’s 5 a day that may change in time.