Eat This Many Fruits And Vegetables Each Day To Reduce Your Risk Of Premature Death

Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is pivotal for leading a happy and healthy life. Your daily food choices can have a big impact on your overall well-being, so it's important to make healthy choices whenever you can. One easy way to do this is by incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Not only are they delicious, but they also offer a wide range of health benefits that are essential for your overall wellness. They are loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins, and fiber, which can support your immune system, fortify your bones, promote robust digestion, and more. 

This advice is supported by research featured in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. The 2021 article revealed that individuals who consistently incorporate five servings of fruits and vegetables — two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables — into their daily diet tend to live longer, healthier lives. However, a 2022 report published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealed that a majority of adults in the United States fall short of consuming the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Only around 10% of adults consume the recommended daily intake.

5 servings of fruits and vegetables reduces risk

According to the article in Circulation, the researchers carried out extensive studies involving thousands of adults over a span of more than 25 years. The first study, spanning from 1984 to 2014, included over 66,000 women, while the second study, which ran from 1986 to 2014, encompassed over 42,000 men. Throughout these lengthy studies, the researchers closely tracked what the participants ate and how healthy they were.

To ensure the reliability of their findings, the researchers didn't stop at their own studies. They also looked at data from 26 other studies. They considered whether factors like how old someone is, if they smoke, or how much they exercise could change the results. What they found matched up with what they expected. As people ate more fruits and vegetables, their chances of living a long life went up. Eating about five servings every day was linked to a 13% lower risk of passing away early compared to only having two servings per day. 

More on the benefits of fruits and vegetables

Filling up on fruits and vegetables can improve diabetes management, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of deadly diseases like heart disease and cancer (per Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), all of which can contribute to longevity and improved health. 

However, not all fruits and veggies are created equal. In an interview on the AHA's podcast "Circulation on the Run," Dr. Dong D. Wong, the study's first author, said that some starchy veggies like peas and corn, as well as certain fruit juices and potatoes, didn't appear to help people live longer. Green leafy veggies (like spinach and kale) and fruits and veggies rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C (like citrus fruits, berries, and carrots) were linked to a significant reduction in the risk of early death. So, the key is to choose a variety of colorful and nutrient-packed options when building your plate.

You might wonder if eating more than five servings daily makes you even healthier. Surprisingly, the study found that eating more fruits and vegetables than five a day didn't lower the risk of early death any further. So, aiming for five servings is like finding the sweet spot on the path to a longer, healthier life.