800 Grams of Fruit & Veggies A Day Could Prevent Premature Death
A meta-analysis of 95 studies on fruit and vegetable intake has found that 10 portions of fruit and veggies a day could save approximately 7.8 million people worldwide a year. This is presumably not including the 7,665,000 people who die of starvation each year who could also do with a couple hundred grams of fruit and veggies every day.
This quantity of fruit and veggies is double the common wisdom of 5+ a day.
“We wanted to investigate how much fruit and vegetables you need to eat to gain the maximum protection against disease, and premature death.” Lead author from the School of Public Health at Imperial said. “Our results suggest that although five portions of fruit and vegetables is good, ten a day is even better.”
However, if you’re not going to choke down 10 servings of fruit a day then even a modest amount can have significant results. 200g was associated with a 16 per cent reduced risk of heart disease, an 18 per cent reduced risk of stroke, and a 13 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
The current guidelines in the UK where the meta-analysis was done recommends that people should eat at least five portions a day. However less than a third meet this quota.
For reference a portion includes something the size of a banana or large mandarin. At a push three heaped spoonfuls of cooked vegetables counts as a portion.
The analysis couldn’t go into specifics surrounding food preparation but it did take into account things like obesity, smoking and levels of physical activity. Despite all these factors, fruit still has a positive effect.
They also point out that it’s better to eat fruit and vegetables than taking antioxidant or vitamin supplements which incidentally have not been shown to reduce disease risk.