If you need another reason to grab an apple today, a new study may get you inspired. The study suggests that eating just a few fruits and vegetables a day reduces the risk of dying from cancer and an earlier death. And the more produce people ate, the lower their risk of dying during the course of the study.
The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
From AICR’s report along with other research, there is already an established link between consuming high amounts of fruits and vegetables are reduced risk of certain cancers. This study both strengthens and adds to the research by focusing on mortality, from cancer, along with heart disease and any cause.
The study included approximately 65,000 participants, ages 35 or older, who represent the population of England. They had answered questions annually about how many and what types of fruit and vegetables they had eaten, as well as other health habits.
After an average of 8 years, the people who were eating seven or more fruits and vegetables each day had a 33 percent reduced risk of dying from any cause compared to their non-produce eating counterparts. Even consuming one to three fruits and vegetables a day reduced risk of death by about 10 percent, compared to those who ate none. The link was even stronger when excluding those who died during the first year of the study, which may have been due to illness.
Eating seven or more fruits and vegetables a day linked to a 25 percent reduced risk of dying from cancer. This group was even less likely to die from cardiovascular disease. The protective effects seen was after taking into account several factors that play a role in earlier death, including their age, whether they smoke, and their weight.
Eating vegetables and salads had the most pronounced protective effect.
For adults, the US government recommends that you eat from 1. 5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily, depending upon your age and how active you are.
For cancer prevention, AICR recommends that two-thirds of every meal has fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. Different cancers link to specific groups of produce including mouth and other oral cancers: a diet high in fruits reduces risk of these cancers. Eating non-starchy vegetables reduces the risk of esophageal and oral cancers.
Visit our Foods that Fight Cancer section for more on how fruits and vegetables link to reduced risk.