Fruit and vegetables are an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. Research shows they can also help protect against some diseases. Most Australians will benefit from eating more fruit and vegetables as part of a well-balanced, regular diet and a healthy active lifestyle.
Vitamins and minerals
Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. These include vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and folic acid. Research into folic acid shows that it may reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a substance that may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Eat more fruit and vegetables for your health
Fruits and vegetables are low in fat, salt and sugar and provide a good source of dietary fibre. As part of a well-balanced, regular diet and a healthy active lifestyle, a high intake of fruit and vegetables can help:
Reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight
Lower your cholesterol
Lower your blood pressure.
Protect against diseases
Vegetables and fruit contain phytochemicals, or ‘plant chemicals’. These biologically active substances can help to protect you from some diseases. Scientific research shows that if you regularly eat lots of fruit and vegetables, you have a lower risk of:
Type 2 diabetes
Heart (cardiovascular) disease – when fruits and vegetables are eaten as food, not taken as supplements
Cancer – some forms of cancer, later in life
High blood pressure (hypertension).
Two fruits and five vegetables, every day
Different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines recommend that adults eat at least five kinds of vegetable and two kinds of fruit every day. Results from a national nutrition survey conducted by the Australian Government indicate that Australians of all ages do not eat enough vegetables and fruit.