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5-A-Day Keeps Mortality At Bay

Eating approximately five fruits and veg per day may decrease risk of mortality, finds new research from Harvard and Brigham & Women's.

Did you know that upping your fruit and vegetable intake may reduce risk of death? Yeah, you probably knew that. But now, we have even more sound science to back it up. 

At the start of March, scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as Harvard released research on the link between produce intake and mortality. With data from over 1.8 million participants, the researchers found precisely what they’d hypothesized: an inverse relationship between produce intake and mortality.

An average of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day was linked to a 13% decrease in risk of death compared to eating only two servings daily. This is important news for Americans, since the average US adult eats a reported 1.5 servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit per day. Note that these findings don’t extend to potatoes, fruit juices and starchy veg like peas and corn.

“This amount [5] likely offers the most benefit in terms of prevention of major chronic disease and is a relatively achievable intake for the general public,” the study’s lead author Dong D. Wang, M.D., Sc.D., was quoted as saying by CNBC. This relationship between food and longevity comes as no surprise to anyone – more intake of produce is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and therefore, lower mortality.

To potentially decrease your own risk of mortality and optimize your health, do the obvious: eat more fruits and veg! According to this research’s findings, roughly five servings per day is ideal. We’ve made it a little easier, with the following list of five fruit— and veg-based dishes: