People who eat seven or more portions of fresh fruits and vegetables each day may reduce their risk of dying from a wide variety of diseases by as much as 42 percent over people who consume less than one portion, according to a new study by British researchers who tracked the eating habits of more than 65,000 people for 12 years.
The study, released Monday evening in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that at any point over that period, people who ate seven or more portions of fruits and vegetables dropped their risk of death from cancer by 25 percent and from cardiovascular disease by 31 percent.
Consumption of vegetables and salad proved to have a greater “protective effect” than eating fresh fruit, and consuming canned fruits actually increased the statistical risk of death, according to the researchers at University College London. Fruit juices had no effect at all.
More remarkably, the researchers said they were able to quantify the health benefits per portion of fruits and vegetables consumed.