Need another reason to swap the sandwich for a salad at lunch? A new study conducted at University College London and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that eating seven or more portions of fruits and vegetables per day can decrease your risk of suffering an early death by as much as 42 percent.
Using information culled from the Health Survey For England, an annual review of the nation's health, researchers analyzed the eating habits of 65,226 people between 2001 and 2013 and found what they called "a robust inverse association" between fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality. Basically, the more fruits and veggies people ate, the less likely they were to die. The study reports that a person eating one to three serving of fruits and vegetables per day reduced his or her risk of death from any cause by 14 percent. Eating three to five portions decreased death risk by 36 percent, and eating seven or more servings decreased it a whopping 42 percent.
Eating seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily reduced the risk of death by heart disease by 25 percent and death by cancer by 31 percent.
Interestingly, juices were not shown to have any effect on death risk, and canned and frozen fruits were actually found to increase death risk by 17 percent.
In a press release, Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode, lead author of the study, said, “Most canned fruit contains high sugar levels, and cheaper varieties are packed in syrup rather than fruit juice. The negative health impacts of the sugar may well outweigh any benefits.”