Vegetables, Fruit and Legumes

Cancer Council Australia Position Statement on Fruit and Vegetables and Cancer

We know that vegetables, legumes (eg. lentils and soybeans) and fruits are protective against some cancers.  They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and contain anti-oxidants, natural chemicals that can destroy cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).   Cancer Council Tasmania recommends you eat a variety of vegetables and fruits every day including green leafy vegetables, red, yellow and orange vegetables.

Vegetables from the cabbage family (known as cruciferous vegetables) such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts and the onion family such as leeks and chives are also good choices.

Eating a variety of fruit is also recommended including red, yellow and orange fruits, citrus fruits and berries.

There are many good reasons to choose seasonal produce. Seasonal vegetables and fruit are at their peak and are nutritious, full of flavour and economical.  Visit Eat Well Tasmania and find out what’s available this month in Tassie.

Adults need to eat at least five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day for good health and to reduce cancer risk.

What is a serve?

One serve is:

  • ½ cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup of  lettuce or salad vegetables
  • ½ cup legumes e.g. soy beans, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans
  • 1 medium sized piece of fruit e.g. apple, pear, orange, banana
  • 2 small pieces of fruit e.g. apricots, plums, kiwifruit
  • 1 cup fruit salad or canned fruit pieces

Tips for increasing daily fruit and vegetable intake:

  • Shop for vegetables and fruit weekly to ensure you have a fresh supply available.
  • Enjoy fruit as a snack or for dessert.
  • Add fresh or canned fruit as a topping on breakfast cereal.
  • Fill half your dinner plate with vegetables.
  • Include at least three different coloured vegetables with your main meal.
  • For variety, cook vegetables in different ways eg. oven roasted, grilled or barbequed.
  • Include salad with lunch or choose dishes that include plenty of vegetables.
  • If fresh is not available use frozen, dried or canned vegetables and fruit.
  • Adapt recipes to include more vegetables e.g. add carrot, celery and peas to bolognese sauce.