You have heard it again and again – “Eat your fruits and vegetables!” The list of good reasons for this advice seems to go on and on. They are beautiful, naturally low in fat and calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other things that are important for your good health.
A recent study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24687909) that included over 65,000 participants showed a dramatic decrease in the risk of death in those people who consumed higher amounts of fruits and veggies. Here is what they found:
- 1-3 daily servings of fruit and/or vegetables reduced risk of death by 14%.
- 3-5 daily servings reduced risk of death by 29%
- 5-7 servings by 36%
- 7 and greater servings by 42%
These results were for all causes of death and all the participants were at least 35 years old. OK, that information is pretty straight forward!
In another study also published this year (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24811336), researchers looked at how eating fruits and vegetables decreased the risk of having a stroke. This study included over 760,000 people and it showed that even eating just a serving or 2 of fruits daily decreased risk by 32%, and a serving or 2 of vegetables decreased it by 11%.
So, the facts are clear, fruits and vegetables are really, really good for you. Here is the U.S. we are incredibly fortunate. The availability and variety of fruits and veggies, and their relatively low costs, make it easy to include them in your diet, every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. government has great information (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/index.html?s_cid=tw_ob191) on fruits and vegetables. You can actually calculate (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/howmany.html) how many cups of fruits and veggies you should eat each day (at a minimum) depending on your age, gender and activity level.
Well, if you are not a crusader for fruits and veggies yet, this is an invitation. Join the team! Here’s to your good health!