Seeking a longer life? You’re going to need more than an apple a day – 10 times more, to be exact.
A new study says you should be eating 10 portions of fruits and veggies per day, up from the five previously suggested by the World Health Organization.
While past recommendations indeed reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke, researchers now say these benefits will be vastly improved upon if people up their consumption to 800 grams (28 ounces) of fruit and veggies per day, with 80 grams (three ounces) equaling one portion.
The paper, published in the Journal of Epidemiology, looked at 95 studies analyzing the benefits of fruits and veggies among more than two million people around the world. After considering other factors like smoking, physical activity levels and weight, the researchers concluded that eating 800 grams of fruits and veggies per day was linked with a 33 percent decreased risk of stroke and a 13 percent reduced risk of total cancer.
This may be a tall order for some, considering that fewer than one-in-three people currently meet the recommendation of five servings of fruits and veggies per day.
Try not to beat yourself up too much, though. The study still supports the five-a-day recommendation, simply offering that the more you eat, the greater the benefits will be. In fact, even eating just 200 grams (seven ounces, or 2.5 portions of fruits and veggies) per day was linked with a 16 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease, 18 percent decrease in risk of stroke and 13 percent reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease.
That said, there’s no reason you shouldn’t aim high when it comes to your fruits and veggies consumption. The payoff could prove priceless.