Major Health Benefits Seen with 10 Servings of Produce Per Day

Even just over two portions of fruits and vegetables a day made a difference
Even just over two portions of fruits and vegetables a day made a difference

(HealthDay News) — Ten daily servings of fruits and vegetables may be a key to reducing the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer, and premature death, according to a review published online Feb. 22 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Together, the 95 studies the Imperial College London scientists analyzed included almost 2 million people. The benefits of high fruit and vegetable consumption appear to come through lower rates of myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer, and early death. And if everyone found a way to get 10 daily servings of produce, 7.8 million premature deaths would be avoided each year worldwide, the researchers estimated.

Even just over two portions a day made a difference in the review, the researchers added. Eating 2.5 portions (200 grams) of produce on a daily basis was associated with reductions in coronary heart disease (by 16 percent); stroke (18 percent); cardiovascular disease (13 percent); cancer risk (4 percent); and premature death (15 percent). The results for 10 daily servings were even stronger: a 24 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease; a 33 percent reduced risk of stroke; a 28 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; a 13 percent reduced risk of cancer; and a 31 percent reduction in premature death risk.

In their review, the researchers also found signs that the following types of produce seemed to confer the greatest benefits: apples, pears, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower), and green and yellow vegetables (such as green beans, spinach, carrots, and peppers).

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