By Donna Campisano
No one really knows, but if you eat upward of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, it could be a very long time.
Or at least that’s the finding of a recent study from the School of Public Health at Imperial College, London. Researchers there found that those who ate 10 daily servings of produce had a 24 percent reduced risk of heart disease, 33 percent reduced risk of stroke, 13 percent reduced risk of cancer and a 21 percent lower risk of premature death.
“Fruits and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system,” explained study author, Dagfinn Aune.
If eating 10 servings of fruits and vegetables — about 800 grams — seems daunting, we hear ya (what ever happened to an apple a day — that’s doable!).
But before you chomp down on yet another stalk of broccoli, take heart. While five servings per day is what is recommended by most public health agencies, the researchers also found that eating just 200 grams (about 2.5 servings) of produce daily was enough to drop the risk of heart disease by 16 percent, stroke by 18 percent, cancer by 4 percent and premature death by 15 percent.
Looking for easy ways to get more fruit and veggies in your daily diet? Try fruit in your cereal or atop some oatmeal; add a handful of spinach to a fruit smoothie; top your sandwich with some lettuce leaves and slices of tomato—or even swap out a salad for lunch some days; top your chicken breast with bruschetta or salsa; mix fruit — blueberries and mango are delicious — into a salad; make a soup of leftover veggies pureed with chicken broth. You get the idea —if more is good, a lot is even better! Salute, Slainte, Sante!