A study that surveyed more than two million people found that to get the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, you should eat much more than you’re used to. So what is the recommended amount and how to reach it on a daily basis?
Eating more fruits and vegetables will increase your lifespan
If you think eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is enough, you’re wrong. Previously researchers have already estimated that consuming seven servings a day is the healthiest, but this study proofs otherwise. The researchers at Imperial College in London claim that eating 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day provides much more benefits. Such as reducing the risk of a heart attack, stroke, cancer and premature death. The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, suggests that consumption of about 10 servings a day can potentially prevent about 7.8 million deaths a year worldwide.
In the study, researchers analyzed 95 studies on fruits and vegetables intake. The team found that although the current recommendation for the consumption of vegetables and fruits is seven servings a day – the greatest advantage derives from consuming at least 800 grams a day of vegetables and fruits, which is equivalent to about ten servings.
The study, which is actually a meta-analysis of several worldwide studies, included up to 2 million people: 43,000 patients with a heart disease, 47,000 stroke cases, 81,000 cardiovascular disease cases, 112,000 cancer cases and 94,000 premature deaths.
“We wanted to investigate how much fruits and vegetables should be eaten to get maximum protection from disease, and premature death,” the researchers explained. “Our results show that although five servings of fruits and vegetables are good, 10 servings are even better.”
So how much better is it?
According to the study, eating 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day reduces the risk of a stroke by 33% and cardiovascular disease by 28%. The risks were calculated against people who do not eat fruits and vegetables at all, resulting in the following outcome: Consuming a generous amount of vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of premature death by 33%. Now get it on with your salad!
Effective against cancer
The team also analyzed which types of fruits and vegetables provided the greatest protection against diseases. They found that fruits and vegetables that can help prevent heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and premature deaths are: apples and pears, citrus fruits, salads and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. They also found that green vegetables, legumes, and yellow vegetables, such as peppers and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables, may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer by 13%!
Now another question arises, how do I manage?
How will I manage to consume the recommended amount without having to significantly change my daily routine? Is it even possible with a busy life that includes children, chores, work, friends, cooking, cleaning, your partner and oh – yourself? Good news, it is possible and it is easier than you think!
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