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Fruits and Vegetables Promote Longevity

Fruits and Vegetables Promote Longevity

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  • One in 10 adults eat enough fruits or vegetables, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Five servings of fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of death by 13%
  • Green leafy vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C offer many benefits

Research revealed that the "5-a-day" routine guarantees a longer lifespan. So now we have one more reason to eat fruits and vegetables. The findings of this exciting study are published in the American Heart Association's flagship journal Circulation.

We all know that fruits and vegetables are great healers yet, only about one in 10 adults eat enough fruits or vegetables, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The World Health Organization (WHO) previously recommended an intake of at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day.

Data Pooled from Multiple Studies

The new research team was headed by Wang, an epidemiologist, nutritionist, and a member of the medical faculty at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The team included a vast dataset of about 2 million adults.


Data from more than 100,000 adults were collected for two other studies that extended for up to 30 years on account of the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The remaining data were fetched from 26 studies that included about 1.9 million participants from 29 countries and territories in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Wang said, "Our analysis in the two cohorts of U.S. men and women yielded results similar to those from 26 cohorts around the world, which supports the biological plausibility of our findings and suggests these findings can be applied to broader populations."

Five Servings a Day Keep Death Away

The pooled datasets revealed that,
  • Intake of about two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables daily was associated with longevity among the participants but, having more than that amount was not associated with any extra benefit.
  • Adults who consumed five servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 10% lower risk of death from cancer; and a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory diseases than those who consumed two servings of fruit and vegetables per day. A 13%overall lower risk for death from all causes was observed.
  • Green leafy vegetables and fruits and vegetables rich in beta carotene and vitamin C offered the most benefits.
Anne Thorndike, M.D., M.P.H., chair of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, noted, "This research provides strong evidence for the lifelong benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and suggests a goal amount to consume daily for ideal health. Fruits and vegetables are naturally packaged sources of nutrients that can be included in most meals and snacks, and they are essential for keeping our hearts and bodies healthy."

Top Reasons to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

  • Contribute to a healthy, balanced diet
  • The dietary fibre content helps maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation
  • Lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer
  • Reduce high blood pressure (hypertension)

References :
  1. The right "5-a-day" mix is 2 fruit and 3 vegetable servings for longer life - (https://newsroom.heart.org/news/the-right-5-a-day-mix-is-2-fruit-and-3-vegetable-servings-for-longer-life)
  2. Why 5 A Day? - (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/why-5-a-day/)

Source: Medindia

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