Doctor. Karen Zoffel | 03/03/2021
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. An evaluation of two large nutrition studies with nearly 2 million participants showed that five servings of fruit and vegetables per day were associated with the lowest risk of premature death. More than five servings brought no additional benefit. The effect was particularly pronounced in people who ate two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables per day, as reported by the researchers in the American Heart Association (AHA) Journal of “Circulation”.
Compared to people who ate only two servings of fruit and vegetables per day, participants who ate five had a 13% lower risk of premature death. They died 12 percent less from cardiovascular disease, 10 percent less from cancer, and the likelihood of dying from respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was 35 percent lower.
But not all foods have the same benefits. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, corn, and fruit juices were not associated with a reduced risk of death. On the other hand, green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale, and fruits and vegetables that are high in beta-carotene and vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries, and carrots, were beneficial.
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