Health

Want To Live Longer? According to Scientists You Need To DOUBLE Your Fruit And Veg Intake

Want to live longer and significantly decrease your risk of cancer or suffering from a stroke or heart attack?

Well, according to scientists you can. All you have to do is DOUBLE the recommended amount of fruit and veggies you consume. That’s right, jump from five portions to ten!

double fruit and veg

Here at The Healthy Mummy we’re always harping on about the amazing health benefits of stacking your plates with plenty of fruit and vege.

As part of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, our nutritionists have ensured that recipes are packed with fresh produce to keep you fighting fit and nourished.

And if you’ve needed a bit more encouragement to get on board, here it is!

Health Benefits From 10 Serves

Scientists from Imperial College London recently analysed 95 studies on fruit and vegetable intake from across the globe.

While they found that eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day did reduce disease risk, the greatest benefit came from eating 800g a day.

This is roughly equivalent to ten portions. You see, one portion of fruit or vegetables is defined as 80g.

An 80g portion of fruit and vegetables equals approximately one small banana, apple, pear or large mandarin.

Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables such as spinach, peas, broccoli or cauliflower count as a portion.

Kate Wighton, a research media officer at the university, reported on the study that was recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

The study was a meta-analysis of all available research in populations worldwide and included up to two million people.

They assessed up to 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cancer cases and 94,000 deaths.

In the research, the team estimate about 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could be potentially prevented every year if people ate 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

The team also analysed which types of fruit and vegetables provided the greatest protection against disease.

Dr Dagfinn Aune is the lead author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial.

“We wanted to investigate how much fruit and vegetables you need to eat to gain the maximum protection against disease, and premature death,” he says.

“Our results suggest that although five portions of fruit and vegetables is good, ten a day is even better.”

Live Longer & Reduce Cancer Risk By Eating 10 Serves Of Fruit & Vege

Reducing Disease Risk

The results revealed that even a daily intake of 200g was associated with a 16 per cent reduced risk of heart disease. As well as an 18 per cent reduced risk of stroke and a 13 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

This amount, which is equivalent to two and a half portions, was also associated with 4 per cent reduced risk in cancer risk. It was also associated to a 15 per cent reduction in the risk of premature death.

Further benefits were observed with higher intakes. Eating up to 800g fruit and vegetables a day (10 portions) was associated with a 24 per cent reduced risk of heart disease and a 33 per cent reduced risk of stroke.

It also resulted in a 28 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a 13 per cent reduced risk of total cancer. They also found a 31 per cent reduction in dying prematurely.

This risk was calculated in comparison to not eating any fruit and vegetables.

Foods That Can Reduce Risk

The researchers also examined the types of fruit and vegetables that may reduce the risk of specific diseases.

Fruits and vegetables that may help prevent heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and early death include:

  • Apples and pears
  • Citrus fruits
  • Salads and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chicory
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower

Vegetables that might reduce cancer risk include:

  • Green vegetables such as spinach or green beans
  • Yellow vegetables such as peppers and carrots
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower

Live Longer & Reduce Cancer Risk By Eating 10 Serves Of Fruit & Vege

Similar associations were observed for raw and cooked vegetables in relation to early death. However, scientists say additional studies are needed on specific types of fruits and vegetables and preparation methods.

The team say the number of studies was more limited for these analyses. And the possibility that other specific fruits and vegetables may also reduce risk cannot be excluded.

Dr Aune said that several potential mechanisms could explain why fruit and vegetables have such profound health benefits:

“Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system,” he says.

“This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold. For instance they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage, and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.”

He added that compounds called glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, activate enzymes that may help prevent cancer.

Furthermore fruit and vegetables may also have a beneficial effect on the naturally-occurring bacteria in our gut.

Interesting stuff! Be sure to check out our article 22 Fruits And Vegetables You SHOULDN’T Be Putting In The Fridge and our recipe hub for fruit infused and veg-inspired meal ideas!

Kick Start Your Health Journey 

Want to kick start your health journey and increase you fruit and vegetable intake for amazing health benefits?

Then sign up to the Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Challenge, every month is different with 100 new recipes added.

28 Day Challenge Deal

To start your journey to wellness or to find out more information, visit here.

About The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Think of the challenge as the best value personal trainer, dietician, meal planner, chef and motivational coach that you have access to every day – without the high cost and all created JUST FOR MUMS!

Every month is DIFFERENT with over 100 NEW recipes added each month. EVERY MONTH you receive NEW 28 Days of FAMILY FRIENDLY customisable meal plans, daily exercise plans and daily support.

budget challenge

The March round of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is the BUDGET round – with ALL meals for the ENTIRE day UNDER $10 – take part here and lose weight PLUS save money!

To find out more OR to join, click here.

emily-toxward
written by:

Emily Toxward

When former journalist Emily Toxward isn’t wrangling her three kids she’s juggling the demands writing and failing fabulously at being a domestic goddess. A published writer for nearly 20 years, Emily left full-time work in 2008 to have children and write from home. Always on the go, she spends her days negotiating with an army of little people she created and visits her local Gold Coast beaches for a little sanity.