Fruits and vegetables are good for you. A major review has now shown just how good they are in adding years and health to your life. Perhaps the secret to life is to just eat vegetables to live longer.
There are many areas of controversy in the field of nutrition, but there is one thing everyone can agree on: fruits and vegetables are good for health, and we should eat more of them. Fruits and vegetables form the cornerstone of dietary guidelines the world over, and are consistently linked to lower rates of chronic disease. Fruits, vegetables longer life.
So do we really need more research to tell us how healthy fruits and vegetables are for us? The answer is yes, when you consider that few researchers have attempted to draw together the highest quality work in the area to give some hard numbers for how much less disease risk and how much longer life you could expect from eating your ‘5 and 2’ each day.
Eat vegetables to live longer
From 16 observational studies, spanning from 4 to 26 years and involving over 800,000 people, researchers from China and the United States looked at the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from a range of diseases. The findings were impressive.
For every additional serving per day of fruits and vegetables, a person’s overall mortality risk fell by about 5 percent, with a lower rate of death from cardiovascular disease being the standout link. So going from 1 serving per day to 5 servings cut a person’s mortality risk by around 20 percent compared to a similarly aged person who was struggling to get through even a banana.
Once a person was eating around 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, they reached the limit of benefit where eating more servings didn’t show any further health advantages. Far from a negative, this shows that such a goal of 5 servings is more achievable and lowers the hurdle to get over in the face of public health recommendations of 6 or even 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Because the research was all based on observational studies, there is still inherent bias present from the methods used to estimate fruit and vegetable consumption. Other lifestyle factors that go hand-in-hand with eating lots of these food could also explain some of the benefit. The size of the study populations used, the detailed statistical analysis done and the consistency of the findings make the conclusions strong.
What it all means
Five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day keeps the doctor away and can help you to live longer.