A study has shown that 400g of fruit and vegetables a day may not be enough to create the maximum protection needed to fight against heart disease and cancer. Instead it may be recommended to double this to 800g a day, which could help save millions of lives.
The results show that those who participated in the London ‘Health Survey’ and ate seven or more portions a day, had a 13% reduced risk of death compared to those who ate less than five portions, the most beneficial being vegetables such as spinach, peppers and leafy greens.
For each 200g a day increase in fruit and veg, the risk of getting each health outcome was decreased by:
8% for coronary heart disease
16% for stroke
8% for total cardiovascular disease
3% for total cancer
10% for all-cause death
Researchers estimated that globally, a total of 5.6 million early deaths in 2013 were down to eating less than 500g a day of fruit and vegetables.
It was also estimated that when using 800g a day as the optimal intake of fruit and vegetables, 7.8 million early deaths could have been avoided by people eating this amount.
If confirmed true, there will be a larger demand for fruit and vegetables, and for farmers to grow them. This would provide more job opportunities for seasonal workers and a larger income for farmers.
But can eating 10 portions a day be achieved? Just the standard 5-a-day would consist of eating 7 strawberries, 1 sweet potato, 3 tablespoons of sweetcorn, 1 bowl of lettuce, 7 slices of beetroot and 14 button mushrooms. Just adding a few extra ingredients to create healthy meals on a daily basis could easily achieve 7-10 portions a day.
What do you think? Could you cover 10-a-day? Write your comments below.
Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39057146 https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/five-a-day-of-fruit-and-veg-is-good-but-10-is-better/