As you know, eating fruits and vegetables contribute to your health and well-being. But, did you know that the number of servings of fruit and vegetables you eat daily is a factor in the equation? It turns out that an apple a day may not be as sufficient as you once thought!
Researchers analyzed data from the Healthy Surveys for England and found that the more fruit and vegetables that people consumed, the lower the risk of death.
So how much is enough?
Researchers have concluded that eating seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day decreased ones chances of death by cancer by 25% and heart disease by 31%. Compared to eating less than one serving per day, the risk of death was reduced by 14% by eating 3 servings, 29% by eating 3-5 servings, 36% by eating 5-7 servings, and 42% by consuming 7 or more servings per day! Vegetables seemed to have more of an impact on overall health than fruit.
It is important to note that fruit juices did not add to these benefits. Canned fruit contains high amounts of syrup and added sugars so canned varieties may have a more negative impact on your health than a positive one. This is a concern because it’s been shown that more consumers are opting for canned fruit than fresh produce.
What does all this mean?
There seems to be a direct link to how much fresh fruit and vegetables you are consuming daily and your risk of death. The take home message here is to eat more fruits and vegetables!
There are many ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily life. A portion of vegetables is about a cup cooked, and two cups raw. A fruit serving is a medium sized piece of fruit, or about a half cup of berries.
Toss an apple, banana, orange, or any other piece of fruit into your work or school bag. Add fresh berries to your yogurt, cereal, or hot oatmeal in the morning. Carrots and other raw veggies pair well with healthy dips such as hummus or guacamole. Add an assorted array of your favorite veggies to your morning eggs to create a farmers omelet for a morning dose of vegetables.
Remember; don’t aim for 7 servings right away. If you currently eat 1-2 servings per day, aim for 4-5 to start. Slow progression will ensure a permanent lifestyle change.
Your Turn to Take Action: How will you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily routine?