The government recommends that everyone eats 5 pieces of fruit or vegetables everyday, however new research has recommended this is increased to 7 or more portions everyday to keep healthy.
The research which has been carried out by the University College London was through a study of 65,226 men and women – and indicated that the more fruit and vegetables people ate, the less likely they were to die.
Seven a day resulted in a reduction in the risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. The research was carried out over 7 years to see a full ‘snapshot’ of each person’s lifestyle.
The five-a-day message is based on advice from the World Health Organization, and highlights the health benefits of getting five (80g) portions of fruit and vegetables every day – this should include a variety of these to boost different nutrients.
The risk of death by any cause over the course of the study was reduced by 42% with people eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables everyday.
The research also mentioned that fresh vegetables had the strongest protective effect, followed by salad and then fruit.
Fruit juice conferred no benefit at all, whilst canned fruit appeared to increase the risk of death – possibly due to storage in sugary syrups, say the researchers.
Across the world
The UK isn’t the only country which recommends healthy eating and a mixture of fruit and vegetables in your diet. In the US, it’s recommended that at least half of your plate is full of fresh fruit and vegetables at mealtimes.
In Australia, they already recommend enjoying 7 pieces a day. The Australian Government’s website, Go for 2 (fruit) and 5 (vegetables) recommends this balance each day.
At Slimming World, nearly every fruit and vegetable is a Free Food – that means our members can enjoy as many of these items as they like.
As part of the Extra Easy plan, we recommend members enjoy 1/3 of a plate at mealtimes to be full of fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, and during the day to snack on these items to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Find out more about what happens at our Stretford Groups.
You can read more about this on the BBC News Website
The original research report is available here: Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data