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Is five a day not enough?

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The five a day message has been drummed into us for the past few years and now new research spells good news for all you veggies out there. It is now believed that people who stray from the government recommended dose of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to eat at least seven portions, benefit from longer, healthier lives.

Common Sense?

Using data collected from The National Health Survey, scholars from the University College London analysed information about the diets and lifestyles of 65,226 people. The information collected showed in no uncertain terms that the more fruit and vegetables a person consumed, the lower the risk of death from heart disease, cancer, or a stroke. Some may argue that the information is mere common sense and that a healthy diet would of course lead to a healthier person. However, the research and report reveals to what extent fruit and vegetable intake can affect a person’s health.

Five a day Statistics

Researchers discovered a direct correlation between the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed with mortality: the likelihood of death was decreased by 14% by eating between one and three portions per day; by 29% when consuming three to five portions, and 42% when eating in excess of seven portions of fruit and vegetables each day. It was further deduced that fresh vegetables are most beneficial with salad and fruit following a close second and third when it comes to prolonging person’s lifespan.

Eat More fruit but Lay off the Juice

The study has shown that shop-bought fruit juice was shown to have no health benefits and that canned fruit in sugary syrups can in fact have a detrimental effect. So what should we be eating? A portion is the equivalent of 30g (3oz), which is approximately one large fruit or a fistful of vegetables. Potatoes are not included, as the high starch content makes them an unhealthy option.

Staggering Results

Vegans have long lauded the benefits of a plant-based diet, and this study could have us all reaching for more greens if the results are to be believed. Dr Oyinlola Oyebode, the leading researcher involved in the study is unequivocal in her response to cynics: “The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die – at any age.” However, Dr Alison Tedstone, of Public Health England, believes that although the study is indeed “interesting” it may also be redundant as most people are not even consuming the recommended five portions of fruit per day and to expect them to eat even more is unrealistic.

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About Denise Morgan

About Denise Morgan

Denise has five years' experience writing for various web-based companies. During this time she has also contributed to magazine articles and brochures. In addition to writing, Denise is a gigging singer/songwriter and is proud to have featured on the first series of BBC One's The Voice UK, having been selected by the great Sir Tom Jones. Denise is mother to the most talented and ridiculously intelligent two year old that has ever been and ever will be (until she creates another one that is). This kind of hyperbole is restricted only to her progeny and is not a reflection of her usual writing styles... Denise and her son live in Manchester along with their five cats - yes that's right, five.

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