The current recommendation of the World Health Organisation is to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day for optimal health. This is the result of a large body of research into the effect of whole foods and food components on biological systems, combined with epidemiological studies. Presents some of the mechanisms by which these components may act. Shows also the types of fruit and vegetables which would make a good combination for “five-a-day”. The benefits from increased consumption of fruit and vegetables vary between individuals but include lowered risks of cancer, heart disease and cataract.