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This is the daily consumption of fruits and vegetables that guarantees you a healthier life – study

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

A group of American dietitians has developed guidelines to follow to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer by consuming fruits and vegetables. To have a long and healthy life it is necessary to eat daily two servings of fruit and three vegetables.

The authors analyzed data from two cohort studies conducted between 1984 and 2014 — the Nurse Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. More than 100,000 people participated in the study. In both cases, the researchers collected detailed information on participants’ diets over two to four years.

In addition, the scientists added data on fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality levels from 26 studies conducted in 29 countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia to their research.

Analysis of all of the above studies— in which a total of more than two million people participated — revealed that higher consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, about 1 in 10 adults currently eat a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate.

The results of the research revealed that daily consumption of five servings of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death, but an increase of this dose does not offer further benefits. At the same time, the authors recorded more longevity in those who consumed two servings of fruit and three vegetables daily. The scientists rated this combination a five-a-day formula.

“This combination is likely to give a greater advantage from the point of view of preventing serious chronic diseases and is relatively affordable for the population,” said Harvard Medical School’s head of research, Doctor of Medical Sciences, epidemiologist and dietitian, Dong Wang.

“That coincides more or less with the current dietary recommendations of the American Heart Association, although consumers receive conflicting reports from different sources about what it means to consume a correct daily amount of fruit and vegetables,” the specialist explained.

Participants who ate five servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a 13% lower risk of death from any cause and 12% lower from cardiovascular disease compared to those who consumed two servings. In addition, the former had a 10% lower risk of cancer death and 35% lower from respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

At the same time, not all fruits and vegetables are equally beneficial, the scientists noted. Thus, starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, and corn, as well as fruit juices do not reduce the risk of death from any cause or from specific chronic diseases. 

Green leafy vegetables, including spinach, lettuce, and cabbage, as well as fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries, and carrots, have more benefits.

The results of this study were published in the journal of the American Heart Association Circulation.

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