It is a known fact that eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day can make us healthier and give us a long life. However, if you really want to live longer, eat 10 portions or about 800 grams of fruits and veggies, as the latest study suggests.
According to BBC, the study conducted by the Imperial College of London revealed that eating 800 grams of fruits and veggies shows a major benefit in reducing the risk for stroke, heart attack and early death.
While eating 400 grams of fruits and vegetables can give us health benefits, it was found that consuming 800 grams a day gave the most benefit to one’s health.
The study was based on several other different researches, which included about 2 million people and assessed thousands of cases of heart disease, stroke, cancer and early death.
It was also revealed in the research which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology that 7.8 million premature deaths could have been prevented if they were able to consume about 800 grams of fruits and vegetables a day.
What if I can’t eat as much?
According to the same study, consuming about 200 grams of fruits and veggies also has it benefits. This amount can reduce the risk of heart disease by 16 per cent, stroke by 18 per cent and cardiovascular disease by 13 per cent.
Nevertheless, the study highlighted that eating 800 grams of these foods can actually reduce the risk of certain disease and even early death at these values: 24 per cent reduced risk of heart disease; 33 per cent reduced risk of stroke; 28 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; 13 per cent reduced risk of cancers and 31 per cent reduced risk of premature death. These risks, however, was a comparison to totally not consuming any fruits and vegetables.
Fruits that may help prevent heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease and premature death are citrus fruits, pears, apples, salads, spinach, lettuce, chicory and other leafy vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brocolli and cauliflower. Moreover, these fruits and vegetables were found to reduce cancer risk: spinach, green beans and other green vegetables, peppers, carrots and other yellow vegetables and cruciferous vegetables as well.
It was found that the compounds in these fruits and vegetables that were beneficial in making life longer.
On a final note, Dr Dagfinn Aune, the author of the study, revealed that these beneficial compounds cannot be easily matched in a pill, “Most likely it is the whole package of beneficial nutrients you obtain by eating fruits and vegetables that is crucial is health. This is why it is important to eat whole plant foods to get the benefit, instead of taking antioxidant or vitamin supplements (which have not been shown to reduce disease risk).“