Fruit and Veggie Consumption May Prevent Premature Deaths

As if we needed one, yet another study confirms eating your fruits and veggies is good for your health

The study, 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, was published in the February 22, 2017 edition of the International Journal of Epidemiology.

What made this study somewhat unique is that it looked at the kinds of fruits and vegetables that corresponded with the most significant reduction in disease, as well as the correlation between the amount of vegetables and fruits consumed.

Apples/pears, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables/salads and cruciferous vegetables corresponded with a lower rate of cardiovascular disease and mortality, while consumption of green-yellow vegetables and cruciferous vegetables showed a lower total cancer risk.

And although it is generally recommended that you consume five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, the most significant reductions in disease were associated with consuming ten portions a day. Given a portion is roughly defined as 2.8 ounces, that equals about 1.8 pounds.

While that might sound like a lot, keep in mind water content makes up much of the weight. The average weight of a medium sized apple, for example, is 1/3 pound, or about 5.3 ounces. A 15.2 ounce name brand smoothie was found to contain (among other things) 2 1/2 apples, 2/3 of an orange and 2/3 of a banana, so drinking two a day could meet the studies recommendation.

The study concludes that it is conceivable that between 5.6 and 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could be prevented with an adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables.

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