Five's the limit for fruit and vegetable health benefits

National Cancer Institute

Five portions of fruit and vegetables may help you live longer, but it seems that more than that doesn't make any difference.

A team of researchers in China and the US, trying to get to the bottom of conflicting reports on the health benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables, analysed the results of 16 studies involving a total of 833,234 participants and 56,423 deaths.

They showed that eating more fruit and vegetables was significantly associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, particularly from cardiovascular diseases. In fact the average risk of death from all causes was reduced by 5% for each additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables, and risk of cardiovascular death was reduced by 4% for each additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables. But only up to five servings. After that the risk of death did not reduce further.

The research is published in the BMJ.

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