After your cancer treatment: eat more vegetables and fruit

The benefits of vegetables and fruit

Vegetables and fruit contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (pronounced “fight-o-chemicals”).

Phytochemicals are natural substances such as antioxidants that can destroy cancer causing agents (carcinogens).

Vegetables and fruit are also high in fibre and low in fat, which helps to control your weight.

Aim to eat a variety of different coloured vegetables and fruits to ensure you get enough of the substances in plant foods that protect against certain types of cancer.

Cancer Council NSW recommends five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day.

A standard serve of fruit is equal:

  • 1 medium sized fruit e.g. apple, pear or orange
  • 2 smaller fruits e.g. plums, apricots or kiwi fruit
  • 1 cup of fruit pieces
  • Half a cup of fruit juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of sultanas.

A standard serve of vegetables is:

  • Half a cup of cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup of salad.

How to eat more vegetables and fruit everyday

  • 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
  • Keep it interesting – cook vegetables in different ways e.g. oven roasted, grilled or barbecued
  • Include salad with lunch
  • Shop for fresh vegetables and fruit weekly to ensure you have a fresh supply available
  • Use frozen, dried or canned vegetables and fruit if fresh are not on hand
  • Adapt your recipes to include more vegetables, (e.g. add carrot, celery and peas to Bolognese sauce).