We always knew that fruits and vegetables were good for you, but now we have concrete evidence that eating them will in fact reduce your risk of death, and the numbers are significant! This study might be one of the most important things a person will read in their lives…yes it is that important!
Researchers from England studied the eating habits of 65 226 people between 2001-2013. What they found out is that the more fruits and vegetables they ate the less likely they were to die at any age. The researchers found out that eating 7 or more servings/day reduces the chances of dying from cancer 25% and heart disease 31%. They also found out that vegetables have significantly more health benefits than eating fruit.
Compared to eating less than one serving a day of fruits and vegetables they found that:
- Eating 1-3 servings/day decreased risk of death by 14%
- Eating 3-5 servings/day decreased risk of death by 29%
- Eating 5-7 servings/day decreased risk of death by 36%
- Eating 7+ servings/day decreased risk of death by 42%
The study found that eating fresh vegetables had the greatest protective effect with each daily portion decreasing chance of death by 16%. Salad had a reduction of 13%, while fruit was 4%.
The researchers themselves were shocked at the numbers themselves…which are significant. It is also important to notice the dose dependant relationship…so more the better!
They also found that there was no benefit from drinking fruit juice. They also found that canned and frozen fruit increased death by 17%/portion. They did not distinguish between the canned and frozen fruit but canned fruit is 4x more popular than frozen fruit in Europe, so it is likely that canned fruit dominated this effect.
Since most canned fruit is packed in syrup they think that the risks outweigh the benefits. Another possibility is that there are confounding factors that we could not control for, such as poor access to fresh groceries among people who have pre-existing health conditions, hectic lifestyles or who live in deprived areas.”
The take home from this is:
Eat more fresh vegetables, as much as you can everyday. I would try to get the recommended 7 servings…for obvious reasons.
Eat more fresh fruits, but limit them, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Eat less canned fruits or anything with sugar/syrup added.
This study should reinforce and motivate you to up your intake of fresh vegetables and fruit…now that the facts are out there!
You can read the full article here.