Five a day is plenty

By admin
03 August 2014

A new report has found that you don't need to eat more than five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to live longer.

A major new study has found that the recommended amount is the optimum for reducing the chances of dying at any age. Eating any more than that will not make any extra difference. The news comes after a call by some experts in March for the five-a-day message to be revised upwards to seven-a-day. This request came after research carried out by University College London suggested that it led to the lowest risk of premature death.

In the latest study, researchers from China and Harvard School of Public Health in the US reviewed 16 studies involving more than 830,000 people and confirmed that five portions appeared best.

It found that this level of consumption of fruit and vegetables was significantly linked to a lower risk of death from all causes, particularly cardiovascular problems.

The review, published on thebmj.com said: "This analysis provides further evidence that a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality. There was a threshold around five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, after which the risk of all cause mortality did not reduce further."

It has been speculated that eating more does not produce greater benefits because the body cannot absorb any more nutrients, and there’s a limit on the digestibility of fruit and vegetables.

During the research, a standard portion was 77g for vegetables and 80g for fruit. However, Professor Tom Sanders, of the School of Medicine, Kings College London, said the findings should not put people off eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. This is especially true considering just one in four Britons consume the recommended portions a day, with the proportion plummeting to one in ten among teenagers.

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