Eating five portions of fruits and vegetables daily is considered sufficient for good health. But according to a new study, the greatest benefits come from eating 10 portions a day.
From an analysis of 95 studies assessing the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, researchers found that eating 800 grams of fruits and vegetables daily – or around 10 portions of 80 grams – was associated with the lowest risk of disease and premature death.
Apples, pears, green leafy vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables were found to be among the most beneficial for health.
Lead author Dr. Dagfinn Aune, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Current guidelines recommend that adults should aim to eat around five cups of fruits and vegetables daily – two cups of fruits and three cups of vegetables – to help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
While consuming five portions of fruits and vegetables daily is beneficial, Dr. Aune and colleagues set out to determine how many fruits and vegetables need to be consumed for maximum protection against disease and early death.
To reach their findings, the researchers analyzed the data of 95 studies that looked at the health benefits of fruit and vegetable intake.
In total, the studies involved almost 2 million participants and around 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 94,000 deaths.
The team analyzed the fruit and vegetable intake of each participant, looking specifically at how much they consumed daily and the specific fruits and vegetables consumed.