(Natural News) A diet full of fruits and vegetables is good for your overall health, but according to a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, consuming at least 10 servings of organic produce daily can help your body fight off diseases.
The study, spearheaded by researchers from the Imperial College in London, suggested that eating at least twice the current recommended dietary guidelines of fruits and vegetables can help you enjoy the benefits of antioxidants.
For the study, the researchers analyzed 95 previous studies regarding fruit and vegetable intake. The data revealed that “the highest health benefits of antioxidants and vitamins from fruits and vegetables came from eating 10 portions a day.”
Healthy diet and cancer, cardiovascular health, and stroke
The researchers studied data from at least two million people, and they discovered at least:
- 112,000 cases of cancer;
- 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease;
- 43,000 cases of heart disease;
- 47,000 cases of stroke; and
- 94,000 premature deaths.
Based on data from the study, these health problems and diseases could be prevented by consuming at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. While consuming any amount of fruits and vegetables can help prevent illness, the researchers discovered that at least 800 g daily – or about 10-80 g portions – offered the best results.
The findings implied that at least 7.8 million premature deaths could be prevented around the globe if more people consumed at least 10 portions of fruits and vegetables daily. (Related: Reduce your risk of breast cancer by 21% by simply eating one more serving of veggies a day.)
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and cancer-fighting enzymes. By eating 10 portions of fruits and vegetables daily, patients can have:
- A 13 percent lower risk of cancer;
- a 28 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease;
- a 24 percent reduced risk of heart disease;
- a 33 percent lower risk of stroke; and
- a 31 percent lower chance of dying prematurely.
But how can fruits and vegetables prevent illness? This is possible thanks to the antioxidants that they contain, which help prevent DNA damage and disease.
Additionally, antioxidants can help lower blood pressure and excessive amounts of cholesterol. Antioxidants can even boost immune function and blood vessel health.
Cruciferous vegetables have glucosinolates or compounds that can help activate cancer-fighting enzymes. Fruits and vegetables can also stimulate the growth of “good” and naturally occurring gut bacteria that can boost the immune system.
Eat more of these fruits and vegetables
During every meal, consume at least 80 g of fruit, like a small apple, banana, orange, or pear. For vegetables, you can east at least three full tablespoons of broccoli, cauliflower, peas, spinach, or other cooked vegetables. The researchers shared that the best fruits that can boost overall health include apples, citrus fruits, and pears.
Meanwhile, the top health-supporting vegetables included cruciferous types like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. The list also included green leafy vegetables like chicory, lettuce, and spinach. Green and yellow vegetables contained the most antioxidants that can help fight and prevent cancer. The most effective vegetables included carrots, cruciferous vegetables, green beans, spinach, and yellow bell peppers.
- Avocado – Avocados are full of healthy fats and potassium, which can both promote heart health.
- Blueberries – Blueberries contain some important nutrients. They are rich in antioxidants, and blueberries can also boost the immune system.
- Brussels sprouts – Brussels sprouts have kaempferol, an antioxidant that can help protect against oxidative damage to cells and prevent chronic disease.
- Ginger – Ginger can help reduce nausea and soothe inflammation.
- Grapefruit – Highly nutritious, grapefruit can reduce cholesterol, insulin resistance, and help prevent kidney stones.
- Kale – Rich in vitamins A, C and K, kale also contains antioxidants.
- Pineapple – Full of manganese and vitamin C, pineapple also has bromelain that can fight inflammation and reduce cancer risk.
Always buy locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables to ensure that what you eat is always fresh and free from harmful chemicals.
Read more articles about the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables at Fresh.news.