Approximately 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could be prevented every year if people ate 800g of fruit and veg a day.
New research led by scientists from Imperial College London shows that fruit and vegetable consumption above the recommended five-a-day further reduces the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.
The team found that although the recommended five portions a day does reduce disease risk, the greatest benefit came from eating 800g a day, which equates to 10 portions. The study analysed all available research on fruit and vegetable intake in populations worldwide – a total of 95 separate studies assessing a total of two million people.
The team estimated that approximately 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could be prevented every year if people ate 800g of fruit and veg a day. Eating up to 800g a day was associated with a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, a 33% reduced risk of stroke, a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of cancer, and a 31% reduction in dying prematurely.
“Our results suggest that although five portions of fruit and vegetables is good, ten a day is even better,” says Dr Dagfinn Aune, the lead author of the study. “We need further research into the effects of specific types of fruits and vegetables and preparation methods… We also need more research on the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake with causes of death other than cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, it is clear from this work that a high intake of fruit and vegetables holds tremendous health benefits.”
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