The old recommendations of five servings of fruits and veggies may not be enough for good health. Experts now suggest we need ten servings per day.
According to a recent study, the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables may not be enough. Instead, British health leaders are suggesting that you double your intake to 10 servings per day, for good health.
Over the course of 12 years, researchers at the University College London collected data and concluded that vegetables were 400% healthier than fruits.
And, that eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables can extend your life by reducing the likelihood that you will die young. Those who consumed seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily were more than 40% less likely to die.
Unfortunately, researchers also determined that all fruits and vegetables were not created equal, and that consuming the canned or frozen varieties did not provide the same health benefits as fresh versions.
In fact, people who consumed primarily canned or frozen fruits and vegetables were nearly 20% more likely to die during the study. Not only were canned and frozen fruits and vegetables not as healthy, but fruit juices were also found to be without benefit.
According to the World Health Organization, only about a third of people actually consume fruits and vegetables at the current recommended level of five servings per day. Doubling that amount would take significant effort.
Although ten servings per day was considered optimal, the positive effects on health did increase with an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption.
According to researcher Oyinlola Oyebode, ‘‘The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. My advice would be, however much you are eating now, eat more.’’
Many people fail to consume the recommended amount because of financial restrictions, as an option some health experts are asking the government to subsidise the costs to help by assessing a tax for sugary and unhealthy foods.
The guidelines that recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day came from recommendations made by the World Health Organisation in 1990, as they tried to slow the numbers of people diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
Now, guidelines are leading people toward 10 servings per day to remain healthy and prevent serious and chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.
Says Simon Capewell, a professor and researcher, "We know that eating the right amount of fruit and vegetables has a protective effect, but this large scale research shows the more fruit and veg that are consumed, the better chance you have of preventing cancer.”
Dr. Alison Tedstone, a health expert in the Australian government states, ‘‘Our focus remains on increasing overall consumption of fruit and vegetables to meet current recommendations.’’
Further research is indicated to determine just how many servings of fruits and vegetables can improve your health, but, at this time, it seems that more is definitely better.
SOURCES: http://life.nationalpost.com/2014/04/01/ten-servings-of-fruit-and-vegetables-a-day-not-five-needed-for-good-health-new-study-finds/;http://m.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/double-your-fiveaday-fruit-and-veg-to-live-longer-study-finds-20140401-35v62.html; Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net