Which fruits are recommended daily

Fruit and vegetables. It's the amount that counts

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended in a report published in 1990 "Diet, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases" to consume at least (lower limit) 400 g of fruit and vegetables per day. She justified her recommendation, inter alia. with the epidemiological evidence of an increasing risk of cancer with low consumption of fruit and vegetables. The amount stated was primarily based on the goal of fundamentally increasing the fruit and vegetable intake of the population, and not on the exact derivation of this amount on the basis of scientific studies.

The first report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) concluded in 1997 that there was compelling evidence that a diet high in vegetables and / or fruits was a priority Protects cancers. He set the goal that 7% or more of the energy intake should come from fruits and vegetables. To determine a recommended quantity, the WCRF / AICR specified “7% and more” and based their calculation on 7–14%, which was divided into 5–10 servings. With an (assumed) portion size of 80 g and an average energy content of 35 kcal / 100 g (150 kJ / 100 g) - based on an energy standard value of 2,000 kcal / day - the recommended intake for individuals is 400–800 g of fruit and vegetables per day. The aim is to alternate between the different types.

The second report by WCRF / AICR from 2007 advocates an average consumption of fruits and (non-starchy) vegetables of at least 600 g / day as a target for the general population and recommends consumption of at least 400 g (at least 5 servings) for the individual ) Fruits and vegetables per day.

The German Nutrition Society e. V. (DGE) has recommended in its writings for years to consume fruit and vegetables every day. In the past, the focus was on the food group fruit and vegetables as a supplier of vitamins and minerals, but in the following years this was supplemented by knowledge of the content of fiber and secondary plant substances as well as the low energy density of fruit and vegetables.

In 1986, the DGE recommended eating fruit and at least 250 g vegetables every day. In 1994 she specified the recommendation and advocated consuming 1 piece or 1–2 servings (approx. 200–250 g) of fruit as well as 1 serving of vegetables (approx. 200 g) and 1 serving of salad (approx. 75 g) daily . In 1998 she increased the total number of servings of fruit and vegetables to 4–5 after she wrote in the 1996 nutrition report: "Increasing knowledge about the importance of secondary plant substances supports the previous recommendation to increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables."

Based on the convincing evidence described in 1997 for the inverse relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and certain types of cancer, the German Society for Nutrition e. V. (DGE) followed the recommendation to take in at least 7% (or 7-14%) of energy in the form of fruit and vegetables. However, she did not use the lower value (7%) as a benchmark, but the middle value, i.e. H. around 10%. The increasing frequency of obesity and the fact that fruit and vegetables are rich in water and volume and at the same time low in energy speak for the upper value of 14%; however, it has been doubted that this recommendation can be implemented in practice. The primary goal was - in line with the WHO's considerations - to emphasize the importance of fruit and vegetables for health and to increase the consumption of vegetables and fruit.

A standard energy value of 2,000 kcal was also used as the basis for implementing the percentage guide value in quantities. With an average energy content of 20 kcal / 100 g for vegetables and 50 kcal / 100 g for fruit1, a composition of fruit and vegetable consumption of 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables results in an energy reference value of 2,000 kcal and a fruit serving size of 125 g a total of 625 g of fruit and vegetables. The ratio of fruit to vegetables of 2 to 3 was chosen because at the time the evidence for the protective effect of vegetables was stronger than that of fruit. If the average energy intake of 2,300 kcal / day shown in the 2000 and 2004 nutrition reports is used for the calculation, the 10% corresponds to around 650 g of fruit with an average energy content of 35 kcal / 100 g of fruit and vegetables (WCRF / AICR 1997) and vegetables.

The DGE maintains this amount to this day as a recommendation for fruit and vegetable consumption, because the more fruit and vegetables are eaten, the lower the risk is not only for certain cancer diseases, but also for obesity, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease (DGE 2007, DGE 2008, Takachi et al. 2008, Buijsse et al. 2009).

In the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, 4 servings (2 cups) of fruit and 5 servings (2.5 cups) of vegetables are recommended for a standard energy value of 2,000 kcal / day. Depending on what is set as the portion size, there are different recommended quantities (figures in g). This is also described in the WCRF / AICR report: "Different basis for energy intake and for portion sizes will produce different goals" .2

Most of the knowledge about the protective effect of fruits and vegetables with regard to chronic, diet-related diseases comes from observational studies. The information on fruit and vegetable consumption is often given as the number of servings consumed or the amounts consumed are divided into quartiles or quintiles (g ranges). These studies can point to associations between the amount of consumption and the risk of illness without proving causal relationships and without having to deduce exact quantities to achieve an effect. It has also not been conclusively clarified to what extent the ingredients of fruit and vegetables have a protective effect per se or whether the displacement of unfavorable foods through high consumption of fruit and vegetables is decisive for the protective effects of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (Dauchet et al. 2009 ).

What is certain is that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is good for your health. Consuming many species within a week seems to be nutritionally beneficial (botanical diversity): With the same amount of fruit and vegetables, this is accompanied by a higher intake of chemically differently structured and effective secondary plant substances (Thompson et al. 2006, Watzl 2008). There is evidence that this could be associated with a reduced risk of certain types of cancer (Wright et al. 2008, Slattery et al. 1997, Franceschi et al. 1995).


  1. Buijsse B, Feskens EJM, Schulze MB et al .: Fruit and vegetable intakes and subsequent changes in body weight in European populations: results from the project on Diet, Obesity, and Genes (DiOGenes). Am J Clin Nutr 90 (2009) 202-209
  2. Dauchet L, Amouyel Ph, Dallongeville J: Fruits, vegetables and coronary heart disease. Nature Reviews Cardiology 6 (2009) 599-608
  3. German Nutrition Society / BZgA: People are what they eat! 1st edition (1994)
  4. German Nutrition Society (Ed.): Nutrition Report 1996. Rankfurt am Main (1996)
  5. German Nutrition Society (Hrsg): Nutrition Report 2000. Rankfurt am Main (2000)
  6. German Nutrition Society (Ed.): Nutrition Report 2004. Bonn (2004)
  7. German Nutrition Society (Ed.): Nutrition Report 2008. Bonn (2008)
  8. German Nutrition Society: Eat right. Look around / Braus (1998)
  9. German Nutrition Society: Opinion: Fruit and vegetables in the prevention of chronic diseases. www.dge.de/fileadmin/public/doc/ws/stellungnahme/Stellungnahme-OuG-Praevention-chronischer-Krankheiten-2007-09-29.pdf
  10. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005: www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/appendixA.htm
  11. Franceschi S, Favero A, la Vecchia C et al .: Influence of food groups and food diversity on breast cancer risk in Italy. Int J Cancer 63 (1995) 785-789
  12. Slattery ML, Berry TD, Potter J, Caan B: Diet diversity, diet composition, and risk of colon cancer (United States). Cancer Causes and Control 8 (1997) 872-882
  13. Takachi R, Inoue M, Ishihara J: Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of total cancer and cardiovascular disease. Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study. Am J Epidemiol 167 (2008) 59-70
  14. Thompson HJ, Heimendinger J, Diker A et al .: Dietary botanical diversity affects the reduction of oxidative biomarkers in women due to high vegetable and fruit intake. J Nutr 136 (2006) 2207-2212
  15. Watzl B: Smoothies - Wellness from a bottle? Nutrition Umschau 55 (2008) 352-353
  16. WHO: Diet, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Technical report series 797, Geneva (1990)
  17. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington, DC (1997)
  18. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington, DC (2007)
  19. Wright ME, Park Y, Subar AF et al .: Intakes of fruit, vegetables, and specific botanical groups in relation to lung cancer risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Am J Epidemiol 168 (2008) 1024-1034

1DGE-PC professional version
22 Different starting values ​​for the guide value for energy intake and the portion sizes result in different target values.