More Proof that Produce Prolongs Life

The common recommendation to strive for five servings of fruit and vegetables per day is sounder than ever, thanks to research that shows that level of produce consumption is associated with a lower risk of death within a given time period from all causes, especially heart disease.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, examined the results from 16 previous studies involving more than 800,000 people. Research reviews such as these are valuable for providing a big-picture perspective on a given topic.

In this case, the big picture was unmistakably clear: For each additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables up to five servings, the risk of death from all causes during the study period decreased by 5 percent. Additionally, the risk of death from heart disease dropped 4 percent for every daily serving of fruit and vegetables.

The researchers said they observed a threshold of five daily servings, after which there was no further reduction in mortality risk. Of course, there are good reasons to eat more fruit and vegetables beyond lengthening your life, including the fact that eating more produce might mean not eating other foods that can have a detrimental effect on your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, waistline, etc.

The researchers said that the antioxidants in fruit and vegetables could be a main reason for their help in delaying death, because these chemicals have been shown to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and other lipids in the arteries. In addition, produce is high in magnesium and potassium, two minerals that have been shown to help lower blood pressure.

If you struggle to regularly fit five servings of fruit and vegetables into your daily diet, see these tips for easy ways to up your intake.

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