GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT 5 A DAY

WHAT IS “5 A DAY”?

It is a campaign to promote the consumption of five daily servings of fruit and vegetables. This campaign is conducted in forty countries around the world through different institutions, associations and companies, in different formats but with the same ultimate objective: to raise awareness among the population of the importance of consuming fresh fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

WHY CONSUME FIVE SERVINGS?
Because five servings of fruit and vegetables is the minimum amount recommended by doctors and dietitians for human beings to receive proper nutrition. In addition, it corresponds to the current recommendations of the World Health Organization for a healthy diet. Fruit and vegetables provide essential nutrients for the human body because they are rich in vitamins, mineral salts, fibre and carbohydrates. But this is not the only reason why five or more servings of these fresh products should be eaten every day. The prevention of diseases which appear in adulthood begins during the early years of our lives.
As adults, eating fresh products will consolidate healthy eating habits, constituting the basis for maintaining the right nutritional condition and a good state of health.

WHAT IS A SERVING?
There are different ways of defining what a serving is. We can define it as the amount of fruit or vegetables you can hold in your hand. Examples of servings: an apple, an orange, one and a half kiwis, an average-sized dish of vegetables or a bowl of fruit salad.
The amount or portion of food suitable in size for a standard plate for each diner is also called a serving. As regards fruit and vegetables, a serving is: for large fruits, such as melons and watermelons, a decent portion; for medium-sized fruits, such as apples, bananas and oranges, one piece of fruit, and for small fruits, such as grapes, those which fit in a mug. A glass of 100% natural fruit or vegetable juice (150 ml), a bowl of salad, half a cup of peas or a quarter of a cup of nuts are also regarded as a serving. (Source: www.frutasyhortalizas.com)

WHAT ROLE DO FRUIT AND VEGETABLES PLAY IN THE FOOD PYRAMID?
A very important role. After water, fruit and vegetables are the foods we must consume most often and in the largest amounts to maintain a balanced diet. This is why they are at the base of the pyramid.
It must be said that there is no food which, on its own, provides all the nutrients our body needs.
Thus, only a variety of products and eating the right servings of each of them will enable children to grow properly.


QUESTIONS RELATED TO HOW THE MERCABARNA CAMPAIGN WORKS

WHO RUNS THE CAMPAIGN?
The “5 A Day” campaign is a joint initiative of the management of Mercabarna and the AGEM (Association of Guilds of Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Entrepreneurs of Barcelona and Province).

WHAT DOES THE “5 A DAY” CAMPAIGN INVOLVE?
The main part of the campaign consists of a visit to the Mercabarna facilities, where the children discover the wide variety of fruits and vegetables they can eat, have the opportunity to try some of them and become aware of their importance for a healthy diet. This activity is associated with three others which complement each other: tasks to be performed at the school before and after the visit and a booklet to be completed at home.

WHO CAN TAKE PART?
The campaign is aimed at pupils from public, private and state-subsidized schools throughout Catalonia in their 4th year of primary education (9-10 years old).
WHAT IS ITS OBJECTIVE?
The main goal of the “5 A Day” campaign is to promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables by children, as well as among their families and the schools which educate them, and to publicize the benefits of these products.

HOW CAN I TAKE PART?
Bookings for the forthcoming academic year open on 1 June. To take part, please phone 935 56 20 00 or send an email to agem5aldia@agem.mercabarna.com.>agem@agem.mercabarna.com.

HOW TO GET TO MERCABARNA
Getting to Mercabarna is very simple. Here is an interactive map, where you can see the different access routes.

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE ANY FURTHER QUERIES?
The campaign organizers: the AGEM (Association of Guilds of Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Entrepreneurs of Barcelona and Province) and Mercabarna.

AGEM

C/ Mayor de Mercabarna, 75
Pabellón G, 2ª planta
Mercabarna
08040 Barcelona

Tel: 93 556 20 00
Fax: 93 556 20 06
Email: agem5aldia@agem.mercabarna.com
Website: agem.mercabarna.com

MERCABARNA

C/ Mayor de Mercabarna, 76
Centro directivo, 5ª planta
Mercabarna
08040 Barcelona

Tel: 93 556 30 00
Fax: 93 556 31 20 – 93 335 29 40
Email: mb@mercabarna.cat
Website: www.mercabarna.cat

QUESTIONS REGARDING THE BENEFITS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES FOR OUR HEALTH

WHAT BENEFITS DO FRUIT AND VEGETABLES HAVE FOR OUR BODY?
Fruit and vegetables provide essential nutrients for the human body because they are rich in vitamins, mineral salts, fibre and carbohydrates. If you would like to know more about the specific benefits of each family of products, visit “Fruit and vegetable superpowers” (linkto: http://www.5aldia.es/5-al-dia-a-casa/els-superpoders-de-les-fruites-i-hortalisses/).

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COLOUR OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES? ?
We can divide fruits and vegetables into five different colours: red, green, blue/purple, white and yellow/orange. Each colour has different chemical compounds (phytochemicals) which provide different healthy properties. Thus, in order to enjoy all the benefits the different phytochemicals offer, it is necessary to eat fruit and vegetables of different colours. In addition, adding a few fruits and vegetables of each colour to a meal facilitates the consumption of the five recommended daily servings.

WHAT ARE PHYTOCHEMICALS?
Phytochemicals are bioactive compounds which naturally occur in fruits, vegetables and legumes, and which are used by our body to prevent diseases such as cancer. Some of them have antioxidant powers.

WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS?
Antioxidants are chemical compounds which naturally occur in most vegetables and fruits. They are important because they prevent cell damage, as they naturally stabilize “oxidants” or “free radicals”, which form in our body when oxygen is used.
Some vitamins (C, E, carotenoids, beta carotenes), various chemicals found in foods (phytochemicals) and other compounds such as phytoestrogens, glutathione, some phenols, flavonoids, and so on, have antioxidant effects.
In addition to finding them in fruits and vegetables, other foods also have antioxidant properties, such as tea, spices and oregano.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CONSUME FIBRE?
Fibre reduces the absorption of glucose, contributes to lowering cholesterol levels, increases satiety and prevents constipation. It is generally found in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains such as oats, barley and rye.

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