- Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day can benefit your longevity, a new study published in the journal Circulation suggests.
- Green leafy vegetables, foods rich in beta carotene, and fruits appear to have the greatest impact on health, the researchers found.
- The study defines a serving as half a cup of vegetables or fruits or a whole cup of leafy vegetables.
You know how important it is to eat your fruits and vegetables, but do you actually fill your plate? Only one in 1
Just one reason, which is a big mistake: New research suggests that eating about five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, especially two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables, can benefit your longevity.
For the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association Circulation,, Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health TH Chan followed more than 100,000 adults who had no history of cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes, using food questionnaires every two to four years for nearly three decades. In addition, they analyzed data from 24 other studies involving two million adults worldwide.
They found participants who had five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, instead of an average of two, had a 13% lower risk of death from all causes, a 12% lower risk of death from heart disease and stroke, and a 10% lower risk. risk of death from cancer and a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory disease. The study defines a serving as half a cup of vegetables or fruits or a whole cup of leafy vegetables.
Eating more leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and cabbage, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, foods rich in beta carotene, such as carrots, citrus fruits and Forest fruits– All of which are high in antioxidants – seem to have the greatest impact on health.
Although researchers have found no additional benefits to longevity by consuming more than five servings of foods a day, eating a wide variety still offers many vitamins, minerals, fiber, fluids and antioxidants to fight disease, “which all help our body prepared and ready to go, ”says Angel Planells MS, RDN, a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who was not involved in the study.
What does a portion of fruits and vegetables actually look like?
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends four servings of fruits a day and five servings of vegetables a day – almost twice as much as the study found in favor of longevity.
Portion sizes vary, but the AHA defines one serving of fruit as one medium fruit, ¼ a cup of dried fruit, or ½ a cup of fresh, frozen or canned fruit; serving of vegetables is 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables or ½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables. Some common measurements include:
- 1 medium apple, pear, orange, peach, banana, kiwi or nectarine
- Half a medium avocado, grapefruit or mango
- 16 grapes
- Thick half inch inch wedge of chopped melon
- Four large strawberries
- Half of large zucchini or bell
- Five to eight flowers of broccoli or cauliflower
- Six babies or one whole carrot
- 1 cup raw or ½ cup boiled lettuce, cabbage, spinach, vegetables or other leafy vegetables
How to eat more fruits and vegetables
A good place to start is to determine how many fruits and vegetables you already consume, Planells suggests. Once you have a new personal goal in mind, you can take small steps to increase your intake.
“If you’re planning and planning some of your meals, you’re more likely to know during the day what you’ve eaten and what you need to eat to achieve your personal goal,” says Planels.
He suggests preparing your products in advance, such as cutting a large melon and storing it in the refrigerator or cooking vegetables so that they are easily available for breakfast or reheating during dinner. Also, leave fruits and vegetables in a prominent place when arranging the fridge or outside on the counter so that you remember that they are there and ready to enjoy.
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