TIPS

What fruits and vegetables to eat to meet the five-a-day health requirement

There has been a long-standing nutritional guideline that says consuming five servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables daily can help people live longer. 

People who consumed five servings, composed of two fruits and three vegetables, daily had a 12 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 10 percent lower risk from cancer, and a 35 percent lower risk from respiratory disease. 

One serving means half a cup of any vegetable or fruit or a whole cup of salad greens. Both fruits and vegetables have the same amount of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fiber but vegetables have slightly lower levels of calories and sugar. 

Although most fruits and vegetables contain different beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, citrus fruits and berries were most associated with lower mortality, with some exceptions. 

For instance, fruit juices and starchy vegetables like peas, corn, and potatoes don’t show any evidence of reducing the risk of death or chronic diseases. This may be attributed to their higher glycemic content which has a greater ability to raise blood sugar levels. 

These options don’t necessarily have an increased risk of mortality but they also don’t have any links to reducing mortality either. At best, they can be considered neutral. 

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