An apple a day really may keep the doctor away. That’s if you also grab another fruit and add three servings of veggies. A study published in Circulation using data representing nearly 2 million adults found that the long-standing public health message of “5 A Day,” or five servings of fruits and vegetables, is worth embracing.
Compared with eating just two servings of fruits and vegetables per day, consuming five servings of fruit and vegetables (two of fruits and three of vegetables) was linked with a 13% drop in total mortality risk and similar reductions in risk of death from cancer or cardiovascular disease; risk of respiratory illness mortality improved even more. Interestingly, downing more than five servings was not associated with additional longevity benefits.
Also, not all fruits and veggies had the same impact. Fruit juices and starchy vegetables, like potatoes and corn, were not linked with a lower risk of disease or death. This is worth noting, as current dietary recommendations typically lump all fruits and vegetables into the 5 A Day plan, without differentiating between them. In reality, some—like whole berries and dark leafy greens—pack more of a health punch.
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