Eating five portions of fruits and vegetables every day helps us stay healthy.
Scientists revealed that two portions of fruit and three portions of vegetables are the optimal combination for longer life.
US researchers looked at data representing nearly two million adults from 29 countries and territories in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
The new study supports the public health message of ‘five-a-day,’ meaning people should aim for this target, however, not all fruits and vegetables offered the same benefits, namely potatoes, which do not count because they mainly contribute starch to the diet.
They found that eating starchy vegetables, such as peas and corn, fruit juices and potatoes were not associated with any reduced risk of death.
It was also discovered that diets rich in fruits and vegetables help reduce the risk for numerous chronic health conditions that are leading causes of death, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Moreover, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce and kale, as well as fruit and vegetables rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, like citrus fruits, berries and carrots, showed benefits.
The new research has been published in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation on Monday.
For their study, lead study author Dong D Wang and colleagues analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, two studies including more than 100,000 adults who were followed for up to 30 years. Both datasets included detailed dietary information repeatedly collected every two to four years.