Shop the Produce Aisle & Make Green Drinks to Lengthen Lifespan
Over the last few decades, five servings of fruits and vegetables have been the standard recommendation for daily consumption by many experts. However, until now, conclusions based on research have been unconvincing as to whether meeting that recommendation actually benefits the health and to what degree. According to a new, large study from Sweden, eating less than the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is linked with increased chances for earlier death.
Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Swedish study concluded that the recommended five daily fruits and vegetables were the ideal amount for optimal health. This conclusion was reached from looking at data collected from 71,706 Swedish people from 45 to 83 years of age who were tracked over a 13-year time period. In 1997 and 1998, subjects were surveyed regarding dietary consumption of fruits and vegetables. By December of 2010, almost 11,439 of the subjects enrolled in the study had died.
It was concluded that the probability of death during the follow-up period for subjects who reported no consumption of fruits or vegetables at the onset of the study rose by a whopping 53 percent in comparison to subjects who consumed five daily servings. Subjects who ate at least one serving of fruit per day survived for an average of 19 months longer than individuals who never ate fruit, and subjects who ate at least three servings of vegetables per day survived for an average of 32 months longer than individuals who never ate vegetables. People who ate the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables survived an average of three years longer than individuals who never ate fruits and vegetables. The best way to easily get more fruits and vegetables into your diet is by consuming at least one green drink every day.
It is interesting to note that researchers didn't find any increase in rates of survival for people who consumed more than the recommended five servings per day, which is why the five-serving recommendation appears to be ideal.
While many experts group fruits and vegetables together, some advocate eating more vegetables than fruits. While they both contain important nutrients, fruits typically contain more sugar and more calories than vegetables. Many people choose to make smoothies with kale and spinach to start the day out right.
While the research appears promising, the study cannot definitely conclude that five-a-day consumption of fruits and vegetables by itself prolongs life. It was noted that people who reported eating low amounts of fruits and vegetables had a higher tendency to smoke and consume less healthy foods like sweets, snacks, high-fat dairy products and red meat. Interestingly though, subjects who reported a high intake of fruits and vegetables also typically consumed more calories per day than others. It was also found that the female participants ate more fruits and vegetables than the male participants. When researchers factored in the alcohol consumption, body weight, exercise, gender and smoking habits of the participants, results did not change as a whole.
While there has been little research examining effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on the life span of large populations, the studies that have been conducted reach conflicting conclusions. Larger studies have shown no significant benefit, while smaller studies trended toward longer lifespans. This large study shows a significant benefit to five-per-day dietary recommendations for fruits and vegetables. One weakness that remains with all research involving surveys, however, is that participants may not always make accurate reports.
Looking to get more fruits and veggies into your diet? Try a green powder supplement. These healthy green energy drinks are packed with full servings of vegetables and fruits to help you ensure you get enough fruits and veggies every day.