The advice could be changing from the ubiquitous message of asking people to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetable per day in order to live longer. A new study of over 65,000 people has highlighted that eating 7 or more portions a day is healthier than the 5 currently recommended and would prolong lives.
The study also found that fresh vegetables may be slightly more protective than fresh fruit, and interestingly, canned fruit may actually increase the risk of death.
People who ate seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables were 42 percent less likely to die from any cause over a nearly eight-year period, compared with those who ate less than one serving a day.
Eating fewer than seven servings was also beneficial, although the protective effect was not as strong: People who ate one to three servings were 14 percent less likely to die during the study; those who ate three to five servings were 29 percent less likely to die, and those who ate five to seven servings were 36 percent less likely to die, compared to people who ate less than one serving.
The findings held even after the researchers took into account factors that may affect people’s risk of dying, such as cigarette smoking, body mass index and physical activity level.
The advice from Healthy Performance HQ is that people shouldn’t feel put off by an increased target like seven. Indeed, whatever the starting point, it is always worth eating more fruit and vegetables.