The American Cancer Society recommends five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day to help prevent cancer. These foods are the best source of helpful vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that may help prevent disease. They also give you energy and help you feel great.
Since the serving sizes are relatively small, most people can easily follow the recommendations.
The list below explains the size, shape, and/or look of one serving:
- medium apple or orange: the size of a tennis ball
- 1 cup chopped raw vegetables or fruit: baseball size
- 1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, apricots, mango): a small handful
- lunch-box size container of unsweetened applesauce.
- cup of lettuce: four leaves
- chicken stir-fry with 1 cup of mixed broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms (= 2 vegetable servings)
- 1/2 cup cooked or canned legumes (beans and peas)
- 5-6 baby carrots
Snack Your Way To 5 A Day
Try the snack suggestions below to help reach the goal of eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. When you substitute low-calorie, high-fiber fruits and vegetables for less healthful snacks, you'll save on calories and feel fuller, too.
- Keep mixed nuts and vegetable juice boxes in your desk drawer and glove compartment.
- Keep a bowl full of fresh veggies and fruits on your kitchen counter.
- Try dipping fresh fruit in a low-fat yogurt and pudding dip.
- Fruits packaged in their own juice, frozen fruits and vegetables, and low-sodium canned vegetables provide the same healthful benefits as fresh produce.
- Try dried fruits as a tasty and energizing snack you can take anywhere.
- Short on time? Look for pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables such as baby carrots and broccoli florets at the grocery store. Dip them in nonfat ranch dressing for extra zip.
- Limit your consumption of French fries, snack chips, and other fried vegetable products when nibbling, as well as at mealtimes.
More healthful eating tips, recipes, and easy ways to squeeze in physical activity are found in Living Smart: The American Cancer Society's Guide to Eating Healthy and Being Active. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 to request the booklet from the ACS office nearest you.