We’ve been hearing “eat your vegetables” all our lives, but now we know the lucky number of servings that’ll help keep us around the longest - five. That’s how many servings of fruits and vegetables we need to eat every day to live the longest, according to a new study from the American Heart Association. Their research analyzed data from nearly 2-million adults worldwide and found three portions of veggies and two of fruit is ideal for longevity.
Folks who are five servings a day were found to have a 13% lower risk of death from any cause than those who only ate two servings a day. Five servings is also linked to a 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 10% lower risk of dying from cancer, as well as a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory disease than people who eat two servings a day. But does eating more than five servings up the benefits more? The study didn’t find it extends life longer.
And not all fruits and veggies are the same nutritionally, so there are differences in the benefits they offer. Peas, corn, potatoes and other starchy vegetables weren’t associated with a lower risk of death or specific chronic disease, but carrots and leafy greens, like spinach and kale, do show benefits. As for fruit, berries and citrus fruits that are loaded with beta carotene and vitamin C are winners for reducing the risk of death and chronic disease.