8 Apples a Day May Keep the Doctor Away
Could an apple a day really keep the doctor away? More like eight apples: A recent study suggests that eating approximately ten portions per day of fruits and vegetables may prevent approximately 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide.
The researchers examined available research on populations across the world, for approximately 2 million total people. In that sample size, there were 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cases of cancer, and 94,000 deaths.
The researchers found that eating as little as 200 grams per day — which is equivalent to approximately two and a half fruits or vegetable portions — reduced the risk of heart disease by 16%, stroke by 18%, and cardiovascular disease by 13%. They also found that this amount was associated with a 4% reduction in cancer risk and a 15% reduction in the risk of premature death.
When they looked at higher intakes, the researchers found that eating up to 800 grams of fruits and vegetables per day (which is equivalent to 10 portions) was associated with a 24% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31% reduced risk of dying prematurely.
The percentages were based on comparison to eating no fruit or vegetables.
Finally, the researchers found that certain fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and early death. Those fruits and vegetables are apples, pears, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables. They also found that green vegetables, yellow vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables are also associated with a lower risk of cancer.
Similar effects were found for both raw and cooked vegetables in the case of premature death.
Researchers from Imperial College London led the study. It was published on February 22, 2017, in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Eating more fruits and vegetables has been linked with healthier looking skin, heart health benefits and healthier levels of cholesterol. This is often attributed to the ability of antioxidants to fight free radicals in the body. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can be as simple as grabbing an apple as a snack or making sure you have a fruit or vegetable at every meal.