Health Survey Suggests That ‘Five a Day’ May Not Be Enough

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7th April 2014 11:18 - Health

A recently UCL (University College London) survey suggests that the familiar mantra, ‘five portions of fruit and vegetable a day’, may not, after all, be enough, and that we should instead be aiming for seven a day. Furthermore, tinned and frozen fruit may not be helpful at all.

The findings, which came from a 65,000 strong sample size, show that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was linked to a two-fifths (42%) lower risk of death from all causes. Additionally, it was also associated with a quarter (25%) lower risk of cancer and a third (31%) lower risk of heart disease or stroke. Vegetables seemed to offer a significantly higher level of protection against disease than fruit.

Surprisingly, the poll reports that people who ate canned or frozen fruit actually had a higher risk of heart disease, stroke or cancer.

Dr Oyinlola Oyebode from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, said:

"We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy, but the size of the effect is staggering… The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. Vegetables have a larger effect than fruit, but fruit still makes a real difference.”

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