You hear the saying all the time; make sure you've had your 5 a day. We all know it's important that eating 5 types of fruit and vegetables a day is needed for a balanced diet, but what actually are the benefits of fruit and vegetables in your diet?

We're going to look at why fruit and vegetables are so important to a healthy diet and the real benefits of including them.


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Contains Fibre

Infographic of recommended meal portions on a plate

One of the main benefits of eating fruit and vegetables is that they contain fibre. Fibre is good as it makes you feel fuller for longer, preventing unhealthy snacking and possible weight gain. That's why fruit and vegetables are the biggest portions of a healthy diet. It will keep you feeling full by eating plenty, so the rest of your meal portions don't need to be as big.

Some of the best sources of fibre are apples, pumpkin, broccoli and green peas.

Provides Essential Minerals & Vitamins

Another benefit of fruits and vegetables is that they provide several vitamins and minerals that your body can't get elsewhere. Most of them come full of vitamins A, C and E, magnesium, zinc and folic acid. All of these are needed to keep your body functioning and make you feel healthy and energised. Potassium can also be found in fruits and vegetables like avocados, bananas and prunes.

Low In Calories & Fat

One thing most people know about fruit and vegetables is that they are low in calories and fat. This makes them a great option for snacking and keeping yourself full until the next meal. This doesn't apply to every fruit and vegetable, but nearly all of them are a better choice than sweet or high-calorie snacks.

Reduces the Risk of Diseases

Table of cups containing different types of fruits and vegetables

By fruit and vegetables being low in calories and fat, opting for them lowers your risk of weight gain and related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Fruit and vegetables are also full of phytochemicals (plant chemicals). They are biologically active substances mostly known for making carrots bright and orange and making hot peppers so hot.

They don't just make foods look and taste appealing, though. They also help protect the body from health risks such as strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Specific Benefits

Every fruit and vegetable has specific benefits too. For example, blueberries can help with weight loss and improve brain function. Dried plums in your diet can help keep your bones healthy, especially for post-menopausal women who may be at risk of developing osteoporosis. Even sweet potatoes can help improve eye health.

So if you are looking for something specific in your diet, you can find it in fruits or vegetables.

The benefits of fruits and vegetables are endless, so it is up to you. You can add them to your diet if you like what they offer or because you like the taste. Just check out what they provide so you can make the most of the benefits they offer, as they can give you that boost your body needs day to day.


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