Dr. Karen Zoufal | 03/03/2021
A diet high in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. The evaluation of two large nutrition studies with almost two million participants showed that five servings of fruit and vegetables a day were associated with the lowest risk of premature death. More than five servings brought no additional benefit. The effect was particularly evident in people who ate two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day, as the researchers report in the journal of the American Heart Society (AHA) “Circulation”.
Compared to people who ate just two servings of fruits and vegetables a day, participants who ate five servings had a 13 percent lower risk of premature death. They died twelve percent less often from cardiovascular disease, ten percent less from cancer, and the likelihood of death from respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was even 35 percent lower.
But not all foods had the same benefits. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas and corn as well as fruit juices were not associated with a lower risk of death. On the other hand, leafy green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and kale, and fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene and vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries, and carrots, were beneficial.
What: DOI 10.1161 / CIRCULATIONAHA.120.048996