Recent research has come out from a big study based in China, which talks about the importance of fruit and vegetables for our health.
The study found that:
“a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables was significantly associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, particularly from cardiovascular disease”
“the average risk of death from all causes was reduced by about 5% for each additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables”.
However the study, contrary to other recent research, also found that eating more than 5 portions of fruit and vegetables seemed to have no additional benefit. In other words, the there was no further impact on reducing risk of death or disease if more than 5 fruits and vegetables were consumed.
Unfortunately, the media took a rather negative stance on this and shouted about the fact that more than five-a-day showed ‘no effect’ in this study. This is quite an unhelpful message for the public, especially if we consider that 2/3 of people in the UK are not meeting the current “5 A Day” recommendation as it is.
It’s important to remember that other studies have shown a positive effect to health when eating “seven or more” fruit and vegetables and that actually other countries (most considered more ‘healthy’ than us in the UK) have higher recommendations for fruit and vegetable intakes. For example, Australia recommends 7 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, France 10 and Japan a whooping 17!!!
Ultimately, the message is that; fruit and vegetables are very good for our health, they reduce risk of diseases, help with weight control and can help prolong life. We don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables in the UK and we should be eating more. We don’t know the ‘optimal’ amount of fruit and vegetables that we should be consuming, and it is likely that this amount will vary from person to person.
The simple answer is we need to EAT MORE.
But for now, let’s concentrate on getting people up to 5 a Day with a focus on more vegetables!