We have grown up learning about the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Since eons, experts have recommended loading up on these foods for a healthy living. From promoting weight loss and metabolism to strengthening immunity –fruits and vegetables are accredited for a truckload of health benefits. But did you know having fruits and vegetables in right quantity may help extend your lifespan? A recent research, published in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation, claimed so.
As per the study, eating about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily may help you live long. The 5 servings include 2 fruits and 3 vegetables a day. For the uninitiated, diet rich in fruits and vegetables have always been known to reduce several chronic health conditions such as heart risks, cancer et al, which often leads to death of a person.
For this particular study, researchers analysed data from two studies that included more than 1 lakh adults, who were followed up for almost 30 years. The researchers also looked into from 26 studies that that included about 1.9 million participants from 29 countries and territories in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. These data were about the fruit and vegetable intake and death rate of the participants.
After a detailed analysis of almost 2 million participants, the researchers found that eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis was linked to lowest risk of deaths. However, having more than 5 servings had no additional benefits.
“Compared to those who consumed two servings of fruit and vegetables per day, participants who consumed five servings a day of fruits and vegetable had a 13% lower risk of death from all causes; a 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke; a 10% lower risk of death from cancer; and a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),” read a report published on the official website of American Heart Association.
It was also found that not all fruits and vegetables had the same type of health benefits. While starchy fruits and vegetables had no link with reduced death risks, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits et al showed a gamut of benefits.
“The American Heart Association recommends filling at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal,” said 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.