Way more fruits and vegetables than you are eating now might help you live longer

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Way more fruits and veggies than you are eating now might help with longer life

When it comes to eating fruits and vegetables it seems we have all wrong. New research shows instead of eating five servings a day of citrus, apples, pears and vitamin C rich veggies, the magic number may instead be double that amount. Is that asking too much?


Results the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology shows eating more fruits and vegetables could prevent 7.8 million deaths worldwide from heart disease stroke cancer and premature death.

What to eat

Eating the following was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease or from dying prematurely

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Fruit juice
  • Citrus fruit
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Vitamin C rich foods (such as red peppers, broccoli or strawberries, cauliflower)

Researchers found risk of dying from all causes was one-third lower among people who ate 800 grams of fruit an veggies a day and the chances of heart disease related death was 25 percent lower.

First study shows power of good food

Dagfinn Aune, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Imperial College London led the study that analyzed 95 studies from 142 publications and included more than 2 million people.

The study is the first to uncover how much of the good food we should be eating in addition to which fruits and vegetables we need for optimal health.


This study is also one of the largest to look at how eating certain fruit and veggies can lower our risk of chronic diseases and extend life span.

"The risk of heart disease, strokes and premature death decreased by 10.8 per cent for each 200 gram increase in consumption of fruit or vegetables--up to an intake of 800 grams," Aune said in a presss release.

The research suggests more fruits and vegetables could help us live longer and prevent heart disease, Aune said "...we cannot completely exclude that the results are due to factors we have not been able to take into account."

For example, people who eat fruits and vegetables are more likely to have other healthy habits.

How to do it?

To put it in perspective you would have to eat a couple of apples (breakfast and lunch and skp the toast and bacon) maybe a banana (midmorning), an orange (after lunch; for dessert) and a handful of strawberries (nightitme snack) in addition to serving up 3 heaping tablespoons of veggies with each your three meals a day - assuming you eat that many.

Eating your 5 servings a day can lower your risk of chronic illness, but boosting intake to fruits and vegetables to 8 or ten a day seems to be a better and way to prevent heart disease, cancer, stroke and early death.

Updated 2/24/2017