Why Veggies and Fruit?
One way to start improving your health immediately is to increase your intake of vegetables and fruit.
Canada’s Food Guide also outlines the number of servings we should eat from each of the four food groups and provides guidance on portion sizes. The recommended number of serving sizes is based on age and gender.
Check out the chart below to find the recommended number of Food Guide servings per day for vegetables and fruit for you and members of your family. Visit Canada’s Good Guide to find out the servings for other food groups.
Recommended number of Food Guide Servings per day
|2-3||4-8||9-13||14-18 Years||19-50 Years||51+ Years|
|Girls and Boys||Females||Males||Females||Males||Females||Males|
|Vegetables and Fruit||4||5||6||7||8||7-8||8-10||7||7|
Examples of a serving:
|Vegtables and Fruit|
|1 cup (250 mL)||raw lettuce or spinach|
|½ cup (125 mL)||frozen or canned vegtables or fruit|
|1 medium||piece of fresh fruit or vegtable|
|½ cup (125 mL)||100% fruit or vegetable juice|
The truth about veggies and fruit:
- Vegetables and fruit are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A). Antioxidants help to slow down or prevent atherosclerosis by reducing the buildup of plaque from cholesterol and other substances in the arteries.
- Examples of vegetables and fruit rich in vitamin C include broccoli, red peppers, strawberries, oranges, kiwi and cantaloupe.
- Beta-carotene gives food a distinctive dark-orange, red or dark-green colour, and great sources include carrots, tomatoes, squash, pink grapefruit, sweet potatoes and Swiss chard.
- Vegetables and fruit are a great source of fibre for any meal.
- Eating a variety of foods is the best way to ensure your body is getting the appropriate amount and types of nutrients needed to maintain your health. Vitamin and mineral supplements do not provide the body with certain nutrients such as fibre, carbohydrates, protein and essential fats, so, even if you’re taking a supplement, veggies and fruit are still important sources for many essential nutrients the body needs to help you perform at your best.