CURRENTLY, experts recommend we all eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. However, a recent study indicates that eating seven or more portions a day could cut the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The study was conducted by University College London (UCL) in the UK. The researchers used the National Health Survey to collect data such as diet and lifestyle from people in England.
The scientists analysed data from between 2001 and 2008. They found out that fresh vegetables had the strongest protective effect, followed by salad and then fruit. The study also found out that fruit juice conferred no benefit, while canned fruit appeared to increase the risks.
Dr Oyinlola Oyebode, the researcher in charge of the project, said, “The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die – at any age.” She added that one portion meant about 80g (3oz) of fruit and vegetables. It is easier to understand as one large fruit or a handful of smaller fruits or vegetables.