5 a Day
Evidence shows there are significant health benefits to getting at least five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
Fruit and vegetables are part of a healthy, balanced diet and can help you stay healthy. It's important that you eat enough of them.
Evidence shows there are significant health benefits to getting at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. That's 5 portions of fruit and veg in total, not 5 portions of each. A portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g.
The 5 A Day campaign is based on advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), 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 and some types of cancer.
5 reasons for eating 5 a day
- Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium.
- They're an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to 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 to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.
- Fruit and vegetables contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.
- Fruit and vegetables taste delicious and there's so much variety to choose from.
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.
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. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Potatoes, yams and cassava don't count because they mainly contribute starch to the diet.
Read more about why potatoes don't count towards your 5 a day.
How to get your 5 A Day
- To learn more about what counts towards your 5 A Day, go to 5 A Day: what counts? and 5 A Day: portion sizes.
- For inspiration on fitting 5 A Day into your breakfast, lunch and dinner, go to 5 A Day tips.
- For ways to get cheaper fruit and veg, see 5 A Day on a budget.
- Fussy eaters to feed? Get help from 5 A Day and your family.
- You can also learn more by downloading this Just Eat More 5 A Day leaflet (PDF, 342kb).
Got a question about 5 A Day?
- Calorie checker
- Eating a balanced diet
- 8 tips for healthy eating
- The Eatwell Guide
- Food labels
- Food labelling terms
- Reference intakes on food labels
- Starchy foods and carbohydrates
- Dairy and alternatives
- Meat in your diet
- Fish and shellfish
- The healthy way to eat eggs
- Beans and pulses
- Water, drinks and your health
- Eating processed foods
- Why 5 A Day?
- What counts?
- 5 A Day portion sizes
- 5 A Day recipes
- 5 A Day tips
- 5 A Day and your family
- 5 A Day on the go
- 5 A Day on a budget
- 5 A Day FAQs
- School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme
- Fat: the facts
- Salt: the facts
- Sugar: the facts
- Top sources of added sugar
- What does 100 calories look like?
- Red meat and the risk of bowel cancer
- What is a Mediterranean diet?
- 20 tips to eat well for less
- How to prepare and cook food safely
- How to store food and leftovers
- How to prevent food poisoning
- What to do with raw chicken
- Cooking turkey
- How to wash fruit and vegetables
- The truth about sweeteners
- Wild salmon parasite warning
- Sprouted seeds safety advice
- Healthy eating for vegetarians and vegans
- The vegetarian diet
- The vegan diet
- Vegetarian food on a budget
- Vegetarian and vegan mums-to-be
- Vegetarian and vegan diets Q&A
- One You Easy Meals app
- Healthy breakfasts
- Surprising 100-calorie snacks
- Beef curry
- Chicken curry
- Chilli con carne
- Citrus chicken
- Easy Italian chicken
- Fish pie
- Hearty vegetable soup
- Lemon chicken
- Mediterranean beef pasta
- Tomato pasta sauce
- Eight healthy eating tips
- How to eat more fibre
- Food swaps
- Breakfast cereals
- Cut down on saturated fat: tips
- Cut down on salt: tips
- Cut down on sugar: tips
- Eating out
- Food and drinks for sport
- Healthier eating for teens
- Foods to avoid if you're over 65
- Common digestive problems and what to do
- Good foods to help your digestion
- Tips for a healthy tummy
- Beat the bloat
- Should you cut out bread to stop bloating?
This article along with others on a broad range of related subjects can also be seen on the NHS website at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/why-5-a-day/.