You know eating fruits and vegetables on a regular basis is critical to achieving (and maintaining) optimal health, but just how many servings a day are adequate? Researchers from University College London have answered this question with an exact number: seven.
The study, which analyzed data from more than 65,000 people 35 years of age and older, found that those who consumed at least seven portions of fruits and vegetables daily had a 42 percent lower risk of all-cause death and, more specifically, 31 percent lower risk of death by heart disease and stroke, and a 25 percent lower risk of cancer-related death. The study also showed that vegetables are significantly more beneficial than fruit, representing a 9 percent lower death risk when two to three servings per day were eaten. Another interesting finding: Fresh and dried fruit got a thumbs up from the U.K. team but frozen and canned fruit and fruit juice did not because the former, as the researchers pointed out, often contain added sugar, and the latter lacks the fiber of whole fruit.