“An apple a day keeps the Doctor away.” How many times do you remember your parents telling you this?
It has come to light today, that the “five a day” we’ve grown up believing to be healthy, isn’t enough.
Based on findings from 95 studies, researchers are proposing that we need 800g (ten portions) of fruit and vegetables per day to dramatically decrease the risk of disease. Increasing our daily intake to this amoung may reduce your chance of having a stroke by a third and reduce the risk of heart disease by roughly 25%. It has also been suggested that it can delay the onset of heart disease and cancer which, overall, would equate to saving 8 million premature deaths worldwide.
The results found that although eating five portions per day reduced risk, the greatest benefit came from eating ten portions in comparison to those who ate none.
The team also found that to protect against heart disease and stroke, eating foods such as apples, pears, citrus fruit, salad, green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Kale, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts showed the greatest benefits.
To reduce your risk of cancer, you’re advised to eat a variety of different types and colours of vegetables.
Whilst nutritionists are warning that informing people to eat more portions could potentially add pressure and create “unrealistic expectations”, the study did suggest that even small intakes reduced the associated risks somewhat.