Seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day can help you live longer

UK researchers have found that eating seven fruit and vegetable portions a day reduces a person’s risk of dying of cancer by 25% and of heart disease by 31%.

This piece of research examined the eating habits of 65,000 people in England between 2001 and 2013 using the Health Survey for England. The researchers from University College London (UCL) found that people who ate seven or more portions daily had a 42% reduced risk of death overall compared to those who managed just one. Fresh vegetables were found to have the strongest protective effect, followed by salad and then fruit. Two to three daily portions of vegetables resulted in a 19% lower risk of death among those studied, compared with 10% for the equivalent amount of fruit. Current ROI and NI guidance is to consume five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This is based on advice from the UN’s World Health Organization.

The study also found that tinned and frozen fruit increased a person’s risk of death by 17% – no other studies have found this result and factors such as poor access to fresh groceries in deprived areas or among people with pre-existing ill-health weren’t accounted for. Also most canned fruit contains high sugar levels; fruit tinned not in syrup but in fruit juice is less available and more expensive. Further research is needed in this area.

For ideas on how to increase your fruit and vegetable intake visit the recipe section of the safefood website.

Posted: 01/04/2014 11:06:04 by Laura Keaver


 

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