No, we’re not talking about 10 as in years. (You’ve got to set your goals MUCH higher than that!) We mean 10 as in the number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables you should be eating if you want to maximize your lifespan!
Consuming that amount appears to have a pronounced impact on lowering your risk for health problems like cancer, stroke and heart attack. And according to researchers, it could quite possibly help prevent around 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide! Read on for now, but then plan on making a trip to your nearest produce section soon afterwards!
Almost Makes You Think Of Taking Up Farming…
London researchers analyzed 95 studies that included almost 2 million people for their investigation on the benefits of produce consumption. Not surprisingly, what they found was that the more fruits and vegetables people consumed, the lower were their overall health risks from some of the major health issues people deal with today. And it only took just over 2 servings per day to start making a difference.
When eating 2.5 servings (about 200 grams total weight) of produce daily, there were the following risk reductions:
- Stroke reduced by 18%
- Heart disease reduced by 16%
- Premature death reduced by 15%
- Cardiovascular disease by 13%
- Cancer risk by 4%
Not a bad start.
But, five servings daily are actually the level recommended by the majority of health agencies. Most people, however, can still do better than that. So, what if you upped your game and really made a strong effort to load up on those healthy fruits and veggies to the tune of 10 daily servings? Then you’d start to see these benefits:
- Stroke reduced by 33%
- Heart disease reduced by 24%
- Premature death reduced by 31%
- Cardiovascular disease by 28%
- Cancer risk by 13%
Nutrient Density Is The Key
The great part about incorporating more fruits and vegetables is that, out of all the food groups, they give you the most “bang for your buck” in terms of essential nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants. These are what you need to help combat free radical damage and inflammation in your body. It’s also why they have the tendency to help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar. (Part of that too comes from the fact that they are likely also replacing food choices like processed foods and junk foods that may be harming the body.)
They also boost our immune system and can help reduce DNA damage, which helps decrease our risk for cancer. Overall, there are just too many benefits and too few reasons to not be eating as much produce as you can each day. Also of note from this study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology was that the following fruits and vegetables seemed to confer the most benefits: apples, pears, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower), and green and yellow vegetables (such as green beans, spinach, carrots and peppers).
Variety is the key, but so is knowing which types of foods work best for YOUR body. Allergies, intolerances and interactions due to medications or certain conditions may restrict some foods that you would normally think would be fine to eat. If you’re not sure what may be best for you, we do offer a complimentary consultation at our office that can help you get a better sense of direction with your diet and get you on the path to your “10-A-Day” goal.