Why do fruits and vegetables help you live a longer life?A University College London research team conducted a study, by analyzing lifestyle data that assessed the foods consumed by over 65,000 random people over the age of 35. They found that the more fruits and vegetables consumed the less likely they were to die at any age. They also found that that eating more than 7 servings per day reduced the risk of death from heart disease by 31 percent and cancer by 25 percent. These foods can decrease the risk of dying from any type of disease not just cancer or heart disease. Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibreand even protein that your body needs to stay functioning and fit.
How do the servings measure up?The study reported that most people, on average, ate a bit under 4 servings of vegetables and fruits per day. Those who consumed 2 – 3 servings of vegetables per day had a 19 percent reduced risk of death and those who ate the same servings of fruit had a 10% reduced risk of death. For the most benefit up your servings to at least 7 per day
How to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet?Ideally you should eat more vegetables than fruit due to the sugar or fructose content in fruit. Vegetables not only contain antioxidants which help stop damage from free radicals that cause disease but are also high in fibre. Vegetables provide great fibre for helping keep your digestive tract running smoothly.
- Juice it Try juicing your fruits and veggies for breakfast or for lunchtime pick me up. Apples, kale and celery make a great mix. You can even add ginger for spice.
- Think portable Celery, carrots, broccoli, apples & bananas are easy to carry. If you have fruit or veggies available you’ll be more likely to eat them
- Mix it up Instead of having just one vegetable for dinner try mixing a few together e.g. carrots, broccoli and leeks.
- Get Steamed This method of cooking leaves the most vital nutrients in the veggies.
Make your food choices count even more by choosing foods from the following lists
- Best Fruits to add: berries, apples, mango, papaya, kiwi, citrus, pineapple and banana
- Best vegetables to add: leafy and dark greens (kale, red leaf lettuce, spinach) broccoli, carrots, celery, asparagus, avocado, cucumbers, zucchini and Brussels sprouts