New research suggests that eating five fruits and vegetables every day is a solid goal for protecting long-term health.
The study, published in the journal Circulation, comes from two separate datasets that followed more than 100,000 US adults over the course of up to 30 years. The participants provided detailed information on their diet every two to four years.
The research found that higher longevity correlated with participants who ate two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables each day. Compared to participants who ate only two servings of fruits and vegetables each day, eating five servings was associated with a 35 per cent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease, a 12 per cent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (like heart disease and stroke), and a 13 per cent lower risk of overall death.
Eating more than five servings a day did not have any greater impact on these outcomes.
Green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, as well as fruits high in beta carotene and vitamin C like berries, carrots and citrus fruits, had the strongest relationship to these results. Starchy vegetables, like peas and potatoes, did not seem to have an effect.
Green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, as well as fruits high in beta carotene and vitamin C like berries, carrots and citrus fruits, had the strongest relationship to these results.
Balancing Health and Exams
The end of the school year is here and while we dream of evenings without homework and weekends without reviewing lecture slides, first we have to get through the annual crunch period. Lack of time, stress, and anxiety over trying to get it all done can lead to us turning to junk and fast food in an attempt to make time for our work – which might actually lead to us feeling more sluggish and finding it difficult to concentrate.
We know this is a really difficult time, and far be it from us here at Nimbus to tell you how to get through this crunch. We do have one small suggestion: instead of trying to overhaul your entire diet during this really stressful time, make a goal to add five servings of fruits and veggies to your day, to complement what you’re already eating. That’s it – just a little addition to what you’re already doing might be a great way to not only make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need now but could also help protect your health long term.
Little additions to your diet can be as easy as keeping a bunch of bananas on your kitchen counter to munch on while you wait for your toast to toast. It could grabbing an apple to eat at your desk. It could be ordering a side salad to go with your normal fast-food order. These little additions add up over time and can have a big impact down the road.
Another way you could get enough fruits and veggies into your day is to challenge yourself to include a plant-based food with everything you eat. Or, if you’re living with roommates make it fun and each week try out a new fruit or vegetable that you’ve never had before.
Eating an apple a day won’t necessarily outweigh the negative costs of, say, also eating a Big Mac every day, but starting little achievable goals will carry us through the stressful periods for when we really have the time to focus on our health.