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Why we should eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day.

We should all eat fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy and balanced diet. But what are the benefits and why should it be five?

Research shows that there are significant health benefits to getting at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. (That's 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in total, not 5 portions of each.) A portion of fruit or vegetables is roughly 80g or a handful size.

The 5-A-Day campaign was based on advice and research from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which recommended eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer. 400g divided by 80g gives us the five fruits or vegetables [er day!

5 reasons for eating 5-a-day

  1. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium.

  2. They are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent digestion problems. A diet high in fibre can also reduce your risk of bowel cancer.

  3. They can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.

  4. Fruit and vegetables contribute to a healthy and balanced diet.

  5. Fruit and vegetables taste delicious and make ideal snacks.

Fruit and vegetables are also usually low in fat and calories (provided you do not fry them or roast them in lots of oil). That's why eating them can help maintain a healthy weight and keep our hearts healthy.

To get the most out of your 5-A-Day, your 5 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. These can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or even juiced (although try to keep juice to a minimum). Sadly, potatoes, yams and cassava do not count because they mainly contribute starch to our diets. Sweet potatoes, parsnips, swedes and turnips do all count towards your 5-A-Day because these usually eaten in addition to the starchy food part of a meal.

So, let's include 5 different fruits and vegetables each day to help that slim transformation.

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