Fruit and vegetables should be an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. They can also help protect against some diseases. You should eat at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day. Choose different colours and varieties.

Vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. Many of these are antioxidants, and may reduce the risk of many diseases:

  • vitamin A (beta-carotene)
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • phosphorous
  • folic acid.

Folic acid may reduce the level of homocysteine, that may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Fruit and vegetables for good health

  • Reduce obesity and keep a healthy weight.
  • Lower your cholesterol.
  • Lower your blood pressure.

Fruit and vegetables and protection against diseases

Vegetables and fruit contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, or plant chemicals.

Scientific research shows that if you regularly eat lots of fruit and vegetables, you have a lower risk of:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • stroke
  • heart (cardiovascular) disease
  • cancer – some forms of cancer, especially bowel, stomach and throat cancers later in life
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)

Different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients.