We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for you, but how much is too much? According to the latest scientific research, improvements in health stop increasing once you reach five portions per day. While eating additional sticks can be healthy, it won't make you live longer.
Researchers from the US and China analysed the results from sixteen separate studies relating to fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality involving more than 830,000 people. During follow-up periods ranging from 4.6 to 26 years, there were 56,423 deaths in total; 11,512 from cardiovascular disease and 16,817 from cancer.
While eating five daily portions of fruit and vegetables was found to be markedly beneficial, additional daily portions had no further effect. This is in contrast to existing nutritional guidelines that recommend seven or more daily portions of fruits and vegetables.
Within the five portion threshold, higher consumption of fruit and vegetables was significantly associated with a lower risk of death from all causes.
"[Our study] provides further evidence that a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes, particularly from cardiovascular diseases,” the report concludes.
"The results support current recommendations to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to promote health and longevity."