Fruits and Veggies: All You Need is Five to Cut Heart Disease Death

If all you want to do is lower your risk of dying soon, you only have to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, researchers said Tuesday. For every serving of fruit you eat a day, you lower your risk of dying prematurely from heart disease by 5 percent. For every vegetable serving you eat, the risk falls by 4 percent, Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues reported. Most health experts recommend that people eat twice that — up to 10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. But Hu and colleagues did what’s called a meta-analysis — a study looking at a batch of published studies, all taken together, and covering more than 800,000 people. “There was a threshold around five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, after which the risk of all-cause mortality did not reduce further,” they wrote. Other studies, however, show that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of both cancer and heart disease.

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— Maggie Fox