Harvard Men's Health Watch

Eat fruits and veggies for a long life

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People who ate seven or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables were at a sharply lower risk of death, according to a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The study analyzed survey data collected on more than 65,000 people from 2001 to 2008. People who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 33% less likely to die from any cause, compared with people who ate very little of these healthy foods. Their risk of cancer death was 25% lower, and cardiovascular disease fell by 31%.

The study also showed that many people struggle to consume the five to nine servings a day recommended for a healthy diet. The average person surveyed ate barely four servings per day, with more than half consuming less than five. As a general rule, one portion consists of half a cup of raw or cooked vegetables or fruit or one cup of leafy vegetables such as salad greens.

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