New study: 10 portions of fruits and vegetables dramatically lower risk of disease and premature death

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fruits-and-veggies(NaturalHealth365) When it comes to the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, we all sense that “more is better.” However, new research is confirming that we should be eating double the current recommended dietary guidelines in order to reap the benefits of antioxidants. Higher amounts also increase the body’s ability to fight and prevent disease.

Scientists from the Imperial College in London looked at 95 previous studies of fruit and vegetable intake. They found that the highest health benefits of antioxidants and vitamins from fruits and vegetables came from eating 10 portions a day.

Fruits and vegetables help prevent disease related to cardiovascular health, stroke and cancer

The meta-analysis looked at all of the current available research on fruit and vegetable intake worldwide. A total of 2 million people were assessed related to 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 43,000 cases of heart disease, 112,000 cancer cases, 47,000 cases of stroke, and 94,000 premature deaths.

The risk for a range of health problems and illnesses was found to be reduced by a 10-per-day intake of fruits and vegetables in all of these areas. While any amount of fruits and vegetables can help to prevent disease, the researchers found 800 g per day (or 10 – 80g portions) was optimal.

As a result of the study, the research team estimates that around 7.8 million premature deaths could potentially be prevented worldwide each year by eating 10 portions of fruits and vegetables per day. The study results were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Fruits and vegetables bring protective benefits of antioxidants and cancer-fighting enzymes

Eating 10 portions of fruits and vegetables per day was associated with a 28 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, 13 per cent reduced risk of cancer, 24 percent lower risk of heart disease, 33 percent reduced risk of stroke, and a 31 percent reduced chance of dying prematurely.

How do fruits and vegetables prevent disease? They do so through the benefits of antioxidants. Many fruits and vegetables are loaded with them, and they help to prevent DNA damage and prevent disease. They also naturally reduce (unwanted) excessive amounts of cholesterol and high blood pressure – while boosting immune functioning and blood vessel health.

Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds called glucosinolates, which are known for activating cancer-fighting enzymes. Fruit and vegetables also stimulate the growth of healthy, naturally-occurring gut bacteria, which further supports the immune system.

Find ways to eat fruit and vegetables at every meal

An 80 g portion equals approximately a small apple, banana, pear or orange. Three heaped tablespoons of broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, peas or other cooked vegetables also equal an 80 g portion.

The researchers found that some of the most effective fruits that support health are apples, pears and citrus fruits. The most health-supporting vegetables were cruciferous types like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, as well as green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chicory and lettuce.

Green and yellow vegetables seemed to bring the greatest benefits of antioxidants to help fight and prevent cancer. The most effective included spinach, green beans, yellow bell peppers, carrots and cruciferous vegetables.

So, that advice Mom gave you is correct: eat your fruits and vegetables! And, of course, be sure to buy organic, locally grown produce – as much as possible.

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  • Mandy P

    I know quite a few people and most of them may get one to two servings of fruits and vegetables a day. In fact they are sure french fries count and the apples in their baked deserts.

  • Sara Rubin

    When I go to a party no one touches the vegetable dip. They are into the cheese and crackers. Also, they are known to make the cookies and cake disappear. Of course, most of them are not the healthiest.

  • suzanne

    Interesting. Guidelines are always changing. The Ketogenic Diet would say 1 to 2 small servings of fruit because of the fructose. Unlimited vegies okay.

    • livefree1200cc

      That is why the Paleo approach is better in my opinion. They know that natural fructose is balanced out with the natural fiber the whole fruit supplies. The fructose in clear apple juice has no fiber and is basically as toxic and damaging as high fructose corn syrup

  • John

    I think that just by eating vegetables and fruits and enjoying them, we can be a voice for positive change. Not by pushing, just by being who we are. It just feels natural to skateboard, unicycle and steal bases in baseball in my mid 50’s. I think the others start to quietly figure out how to do it.

  • Great article. Iam always trying to get more fruits and veggies in everyday.

  • David_R59

    I do not agree with this article about eating fruit as much as possible, all the time.
    Fruit should only be eaten ‘in season’ not all year. Fructose triggers the body to start storing away fat for the winter. So eating fruit in season is the natural way to eat it.
    Eating fruit all year triggers the body to store away fat all year ’round.