Most Australians eat only about half the recommended quantity of fruit. However many of us drink far too much fruit juice. Fruit juices can be high in energy (kilojoules) and low in dietary fibre, and can even damage your teeth. Whole fruits are a much better choice, and are more filling.
What’s in the fruit group?
A wide variety of fruit is grown and available in Australia. There is plenty of choice throughout the year. Choosing fruits in season provides better value and better quality. Eating seasonally also adds more variety to your diet throughout the year. And just like with veggies, choosing different coloured fruits increases the variety of nutrients, which can enhance your health!
Choose fruits from these different fruit categories:
- pome fruits such as apples and pears
- citrus fruit such as oranges, mandarins and grapefruit
- stone fruit such as apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums
- tropical fruit such as bananas, paw paw, mangoes, pineapple and melons
- other fruits such as grapes and passionfruit.
For a longer list of the different fruits take a look at the Go for 2 & 5 Fruit and Vegetable information at www.gofor2and5.com.au.
How much should I eat from the Fruits Group?
Follow the links below to find out how many serves you need to eat per day.
Did you know that by the age of nine, 2 serves of fruit per day are recommended!
Minimum recommended average daily number of serves from each of the five food groups
A serve of fruit is approximately 150g (350kJ) which is:
- 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
- 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
- 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)
Or only occasionally:
- 125ml (½ cup) fruit juice (no added sugar)
- 30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 1½ tablespoons of sultanas)
Eating dried fruit regularly, is not recommended as it is high in kilojoules, can stick to the teeth and increases the risk of dental decay. Also, you can easily eat more than you realise!
Fruit juice should only be drunk occasionally as it is acidic and can increase the risk of dental erosion. Fruit juice also has less fibre and other healthy nutrients than the whole fruit provides.
What can I do with fruit?
Eat fruit fresh and whole of course! In fact, fruit is the most nutritious for you eaten fresh and raw. Fruit can be added to cereal, porridge, toast, salads, or used to finish a meal. Fruit also makes a convenient snack in between meals and while out and about.
Fruit based desserts like baked apples, fruit crumbles or stewed or poached fruit, are healthy and nutritious. Fruit is also great for adding to pancakes, pikelets, scones and low fat muffins. Take a look at the healthy recipes on our website for ideas.
Canned or frozen fruit can also be included for variety and convenience. Look for varieties that are canned or preserved in fruit juice not with added sugars or syrup.
Health benefits of fruit
Did you know there is increasing evidence that whole foods such as fruit are more effective in reducing the risk of cancer than specific vitamin and mineral supplements. There is also building evidence that some risk factors for cancer can be avoided by eating fruit (and vegetables and legumes) during childhood and early adult life.
Most fruits are low in energy (kilojoules) and high in fibre and water, making you feel fuller. This reduces the risk of over eating which can cause weight gain. The fibre in fruit is also thought to reduce the risk of some cancers, including colorectal cancer.
Fruit is abundant in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Vitamins such as vitamin C and E and different phytochemicals may reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions. Potassium and magnesium found in fruit have also been linked to lower blood pressure.
Different coloured fruits, especially orange, red and yellow fruit, contain carotenes (Vitamin A) which are also thought to assist in immune function.