Eating fewer than five servings of fruit and vegetables each day may raise a person’s risks of dying prematurely.
Scientists from the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) analyzed data collected on 71,706 participants (38,221 men and 33,485 women), ages 45– 83 years. The team surveyed the subjects about their diets, reporting the consumption patterns of fruits—including oranges, apples, bananas and berries—and vegetables, such as carrots, beets, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes and pea soup. Of those who had reported eating no fruit or vegetables at the start of the study, the researchers observed these subjects were 53 percent more likely to die during the 13-year follow-up period, as compared to those who consumed five daily servings. Further, the investigators found that participants who ate at least one serving of fruit daily lived 19 months longer than those who never ate fruit, on average. And those who ate at least three servings of vegetables per day lived 32 months longer than people who reported not eating vegetables. The study authors conclude that: “[Fruit and vegetable] consumption [less than] five servings [daily] is associated with progressively shorter survival and higher mortality rates.”
- Bellavia A, Larsson SC, Bottai M, Wolk A, Orsini N. “Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause mortality: a dose-response analysis.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun 26.