What exactly is one serving of fruits and vegetables?

What exactly is one serving of fruits and vegetables?

I recently read a history of how it came to be known that 5  servings of fruits and vegetables are required for optimum health.  Where exactly did the number 5 actually come from?  A woman named Linia Patel, a Sports Nutritionist also pondered this - she recently investigated this claim.

What she determined is that  5 servings was originally named as the minimum requirement by the World Health Organization who did a study in 1991 that concluded 400g of fruits and vegetables will lower risks of chronic heart disease (including stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity).  At that time 80g was determined to be one serving and that is how 5 servings came to be ( 400 / by 80 = 5).  This was later reinforced by a study done in the UK lead by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, that felt 8 was actually better, but nationally promoted 5 because it was an easier sell to the general public.

So what  is exactly considered one serving of fruits and vegetables (80g)? (Foods that contain added sugar, fat or salt do not count!)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 dried figs
  • 2 spears of broccoli
  • 1 medium bowl of lettuce/spinach
  • 1 glass of 100% vegetable juice
  • 2 small oranges
  • ½ lg grapefruit
  • 4 dried apple rings
  • 7 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 medium apple
  • 4 tablespoons of blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh fruit salad
  • 2 kiwi fruits
  • 1 nectarine
  • 2 rings of pineapple
  • 6 prunes
  • 4 pieces of sundried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of beans
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 3 tablespoons of carrots
  • 3 tablespoons of peas – fresh of frozen
  • 6 baby corn
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons of porcini mushrooms

Leave a comment