Why is eating fruit & vegetables so important?
There are a number of reasons:
- adequate intakes of fruit & vegetables reduce the risk of the most common health conditions including cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes and hypertension,
- low fruit & vegetable intake contributed to 1559 deaths in 1997
- Approximately 30% of all deaths (in 1997) were attributed to the joint dietary factors including 6% to inadequate fruit & vegetable consumption compared to tobacco consumption which was responsible for 18% of all deaths and road traffic factors accounting for 2% of all deaths
- Increasing the mean population fruit & vegetable intake by 40g/day or about half a serve could prevent 334 deaths each year (from 2011)
- Eating fruit & vegetable is identified as a key strategy to reduce obesity in the recently released WHO Global Strategy on Diet Activity and Health
Why are fruit & vegetables so important for reducing cancer risk?
Dietary factors are estimated to account for approximately 30% of cancers in industrialised countries making diet second only to tobacco as a theoretically preventable cause of cancer .
Eating plenty of fruit & vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancers of the digestive tract (mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach and bowel). F&V contain natural substances, such as antioxidants, which protect against cancer.
So how much fruit & vegetables should I eat?
5+ ADAY – that’s at least 3 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day – it’s the same for children & adults. (3+2 equals 5) - Eating a combination of fruit and vegetables is important.
Variety is also important – Eat a wide range of colours
What’s a serve?
It’s about a handful and everybody uses their own hand so a child’s serving will be smaller than an adults.
If I eat more than 5+ADAY, do I reduce my chances of getting cancer even more?
The recommendation is to eat at least 5 serves a day. If you eat more; then that’s great but our main concern is getting people to at least 5 serves a day. We can not guarantee that you won’t get cancer, even if you eat 20 serves a day, however we do know that eating at least 5 serves a day will reduce your risk of getting cancer.