- Consumption of five servings of
fruits and vegetables a day was linked to better health.
- Now a new study claims that eight
servings of fruits and vegetables a day can increase longevity.
- Eating eight servings of fruits
and vegetables can prevent 7.8 millions of premature deaths.
are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and
antioxidants that help improve overall health. It is well-known that the
recommended intake of fruits and vegetables is five servings a day. Now a new
comprehensive study recommends eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day
for better health.
published in the International Journal of Epidemiology
showed that nearly 7.8
million deaths worldwide could be prevented each year if people ate more fruits
‘Fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants can prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease and prevent 7.8 million premature deaths every year.’
Lead author of
the study, Dagfinn Aune, from the Norwegian University of Science and
Technology (NTNU) and Imperial College London, said that the more the
consumption of fruits and vegetables, the lower the risk of heart disease,
stroke, cancer and premature death.
results support recommendations to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables
people eat," said Aune.
Eight Servings of
Fruits and Vegetables a Day
It is well-known
that consumption of fruits and vegetables are linked to better health. However,
none of the previous studies have examined the recommended intake to increase
team conducted the largest meta-analysis which included
142 publications from 95 different population studies that studied the
relationship between the consumption of
fruits and vegetables
and the subsequent risk of chronic diseases.
of the meta-analysis showed that the risk of heart disease, stroke, and
premature death decreased by 10.8 percent for each 200 gram increase in
consumption of fruit or vegetables up to an intake of 800 grams.
impact from increasing daily intake of fruits and vegetables was seen in people
who do not eat fruits and vegetables and those who eat very little of them. For
people whose diets already include some fruit and vegetables, there were
additional benefits in increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables.
organizations have recommended that people eat at least five servings of fruits
and vegetables a day, which is approximately 500 grams. The new analysis
suggests that the risk of disease and premature death can be reduced by eating
more fruits and vegetables than recommended.
800 grams of fruits and vegetables reduced the risk of
- Premature death from all causes by
almost a third
- Cardiovascular disease by about a
"We see a
gradual reduction in risk with increasing consumption, so a low or moderate
intake is better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all," said Aune.
Protective Effect of Fruits and Vegetables
eat high amounts of fruits and vegetables are physically active, less likely to
smoke or drink alcohol and they also avoid red or processed meat compared to
those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables.
means there are factors other than fruit and vegetables that are behind the
reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature death that the
not all of the studies in our analysis adjusted for these factors. We saw
pretty much no significant difference in the results of studies with and
without this kind of adjustment. Nevertheless, we cannot completely exclude
that the results are due to factors we have not been able to take into
account," said Aune.
Lowers the Rate of Premature Deaths
team analyzed the number of premature deaths that can be prevented if everyone consumed 800 grams of fruits and vegetables a day.
that 7.8 million deaths can be prevented if people ate 800 grams of fruits and
vegetables and 5.4 million deaths can be prevented if people consumed 500 grams
of fruits and vegetables a day.
The authors of
the study noted that two to four million deaths related to cardiovascular
disease and 660,000 cancer deaths could be prevented a year if everyone had the optimal amount of fruits and vegetable.
what is most fascinating about this study is that the association between fruits and vegetables and mortality is greater than one would expect only
on the basis of the relationships we find with cardiovascular disease and
cancer, so it is conceivable that fruit and vegetables are beneficial in
preventing other diseases and causes of death as well," said Aune.
we had very limited data, we could not do analyses for other causes of death.
This is something we want to pursue."
Fruits and Vegetables that Offer more Protection
vegetables are good sources of fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, and potassium,
all of which have been directly linked to good health.
of fruits and vegetables can
- Help lower cholesterol
- Improve blood vessel function
- Aid in digestion
- Prevent fat accumulation
- Reduce inflammation
- Increase good gut bacteria
team also analyzed the varieties of fruits and vegetables that can be linked to
reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.
pears, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and other fruits and vegetables
rich in vitamin C were linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and
premature death. However, canned fruits increased the risk.
we need more studies on specific types of fruit and vegetables because
relatively few of the studies in our analysis had looked at this issue,"
with antioxidants and vitamins does not have the same beneficial effects, so
probably it's the whole package of beneficial substances that you get from
eating fruits and vegetables that act synergistically," said Aune.
Tips to Include More Fruits and
Vegetables in Your Diet
vegetables can be included in the daily diet in the form of salads, juice,
soups, and stir-fries.
- Make a veggie wrap with stir-fried
- Top your pizza with broccoli,
spinach, and zucchini
- Make breakfast smoothie with
strawberries, and banana
- Add color to your fruit salad by
adding a variety of fruits
- Add fruits and vegetables to
muffins and bread
- Dagfinn Aune, Edward Giovannucci,
Paolo Boffetta, Lars T.Fadnes, NaNa Keum, Teresa Norat, Darren C. Greenwood,
ElioRiboli, Lars J. Vatten1and Serena Tonstad. Fruit and vegetable intake and
the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality-a
systematic review and dose response meta-analysis of prospective studies.
International Journal of Epidemiology (2017) DOI:10.1093/ije/dyw319
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