Ten fruit & veg portions a day offers 'maximum protection'

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Eating 10 portions of fruit & veg a day could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide, new research has claimed.

The study, led by scientists from Imperial College London, found that as little as two-and-a-half portions of fruit & veg a day could reduce risk of diseases, but the greatest benefits came from eating 800g, roughly 10 portions.

Researchers analysed 95 studies on fruit and veg intake, representing about two million people, and found eating 800g could cut the risk of heart disease by 24%, stroke by 33%, cardiovascular disease by 28%, and cancer by 13%. Two-and-a-half portions, or 200g, could reduce the risk of heart disease by 16%, stroke by 18%, cardiovascular disease by 13% and cancer by 4%.

Current UK guidelines suggest consumers should eat five portions, or 400g, a day, but the study found less than 30% of adults currently met that target.

“We wanted to investigate how much fruit and veg you need to eat to gain the maximum protection,” said study author Dr Dagfinn Aune of Imperial College. “Our results suggest while five portions of fruit and veg is good, 10 a day is even better.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Sophia Nadur

    Kantar continues to report folks manage to eat on average just over 3 fruits & vegetables a day despite years of encouraging folks to aim for 5 a day. Urging folks now to up fruit & veg intake to 10 per day may only result in folks throwing the towel in in despair. Looking just at fruit & veg's impact on cardiovascular health is too narrow a research focus in my view. It would be more helpful if researchers looked at a broader basket of food & drink especially green tea, whole grains, spices and certain nuts. This might give us a better chance at improving overall health & wellbeing!

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