What is 5-a-day?
5-a-day is the name of a number of programs in various countries worldwide built to encourage the consumption of at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, following reccomandations by the World Health Organization to consume a minimum of 400g of fruits and vegetables daily.www.citrusbr.com
5-a-day programmes in the EU
- Austria: www.5xamtag.at
- Denmark: www.6omdagen.dk
- Finland: www.kotimaisetkasvikset.fi
- France: www.mangerbouger.fr
- Germany: www.5amtag.de
- Italy: www.ministerosalute.it/servizio/campagna.jsp?idarc=2
- Spain: www.5aldia.com
- Netherlands: www.groentenenfruit.nl
- Norway: www.bama.no, www.frukt.no
- Poland: www.5porcji.pl, www.5porcjiwszkole.pl
- Sweden: www.slv.se/en-gb/Group1/Food-and-nutrition/Recommendations/Half-a-kilo-a-day
- UK: www.5aday.nhs.uk
- Ireland: www.dohc.ie/press/releases/2003/20030604.html
Which products are part of the 5-a-day?
Almost all fruit and vegetables count towards your 5-a-day:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Frozen fruit and vegetables.
- Canned fruit and vegetables.
- Dried fruit.
- 100% fruit or vegetable juices/smoothies.
How to achieve your 5-a-day?
To get the maximum benefits, you need to eat different types of fruit and vegetables. This is because different fruit and vegetables contain different combinations of fibre, minerals and other nutrients. You should aim to include a variety of fruit and vegetables and their products in your 5-a-day to get the most nutritional benefit.
What counts as 1 portion of the 5-a-day?
One portion is two or more small fruit, for example plums, kiwis, apricots, more strawberries and cherries, etc. For medium-sized fruit, one portion is one piece of fruit, such as apple, banana, pear, orange, nectarine, etc. For large fruit one portion can be half a grapefruit, one slice of melon, one large slice of pineapple or two slices of mango.
Whether fresh or cooked, a portion of vegetables should be around 80g, i.e. 3 or 4 tablespoon.
Frozen and canned fruit and vegetables
Roughly the same quantity as you would eat for a fresh portion.
A portion of dried fruit is around 30g. This is about one tablespoon of raisins, currants or mixed fruit, two figs, three prunes or one handful of dried banana chips.
Juices and smoothies
A 200ml glass 100% fruit or vegetable juice or a smoothie counts as a portion. Juice counts as a maximum of one portion a day, mainly because it contains less fibre than whole fruits and vegetables. However, in some countries a 250ml mixed fruit smoothie can count as two portions depending on its fibre content.
The role of juices and smoothies in the 5-a-day.
Fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, both directly derived from the fruit, have been recognised as a valuable contribution to a healthy diet. They contribute the primary source of vitamin C, and are important sources of a number of other vitamins and minerals. Fruit smoothies can also provide a significant amount of dietary fibre.
Juices and smoothies are nutritious, enjoyable, and easy to consume. Therefore the consumption of a portion of a fruit or vegetable juice or smoothie is very often included in the recommendations for increased consumption of fruit and vegetables.
General dietary advice, including 5+ a day recommendations, has been published by the majority of European countries (UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain). The Australian government and Canadian dieticians note fruit juice as an appropriate part of a healthy diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 advises following the DASH eating plan or the USDA Food Guide. Both of these guides specifically mention portions of fruit juice as contributors to a healthy diet.
Furthermore, a recent report on a study of the relationship between fruit juice intake and obesity, based on 7,500 children between the ages of 2 – 18 years concluded that the ‘findings are consistent with many other research projects that have found no association between consumption of 100% juice and obesity.’ Moreover, the authors found that children who drank 100% fruit juice had healthier overall diets than non-juice consumers, and had significantly lower intakes of total fat, saturated fat and sodium.
The nutrition data demonstrate the particular value of fruit juices in the diet. Orange juice, for example, the most popular fruit juice, contains:
- A high amount of vitamin C
- A measurable quantities of 9 other vitamins
- 10 minerals and trace elements
- 18 amino acids
- 4 of the 6 anti-oxidant carotenoids
Other fruit juices have a similar composition. The table below shows examples of nutritional recommendations and related RDAs for micronutrients.