It is National Nutrition Week, with the theme “Eat more vegetables and fruit every day”.

Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can reduce the risk for diseases such as atherosclerosis (thickening of artery), cancer, cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Table 1: Health benefits of fruits and vegetables

ColourFood exampleHealth Benefit
Purple/BlueBeetroot, egg plantReduce risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease
RedTomato, watermelon, red grapes, radishReduce the risk of cancer and improves heart health
Orange/yellowCarrot, lemon, pineappleMaintain healthy eyes
Brown/whiteBanana, garlic, onion, gingerAntiviral and antibacterial properties
GreenBroccoli, green apples, spinach, green pepper, lettuce, cucumberAnti-cancer

Other benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables:

  • Improve lifespan
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Improve mental health
  • Assist in weight management

Benefits of fruits specifically:

  • Contains potassium, needed to reduce the effect of bone loss
  • It stimulates memory recall, which assist in optimal brain function
  • Provides fiber that assist in a healthy digestive system
  • Provides vitamins and minerals

Benefits of vegetables specifically:

  • Improve overall health
  • Protect body organs
  • Assist with weight control
  • Promote healthy skin and hair
  • Contain antioxidants that prevent disease
  • Assist in digestion by preventing constipation

By, Colette Dreyer RD (SA)


1.             del Río-Celestino M, Font R. The health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute; 2020.