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Originally published February 18 2011

Eating colorful vegetables linked to longer life

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) People who eat more brightly colored vegetables live longer and may have a lower risk of cancer and heart disease, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The researchers examined the health and diets of 15,138 adults over the age of 19 who had participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study. Participants gave blood samples regularly between 1988 and 1994, and again in 2006.

The researchers found that those with the highest levels of alpha-carotene in their blood were 39 percent less likely to die during the study than those with the lowest levels. The risk reduction was especially pronounced for heart disease and cancer.

Alpha-carotene is related to the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene, and is found in high levels in bright orange, yellow and green vegetables.

The researchers also found that vegetables high in alpha-carotene appeared to reduce the risk of lung cancer more than other vegetables did.

"Results ... suggest that consumption of yellow-orange [vegetables such as] carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin and winter squash, and dark-green [vegetables such as] broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach, turnips greens, collards and leaf lettuce, which have a high alpha-carotene content, was more strongly associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer than was consumption of all other types of vegetables," said researcher Chaoyang Li.

Ultimately, the findings of the study only reinforce what health professionals and mothers have known for generations.

"Eat a 'rainbow' assortment of fruits and vegetables," write Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno in The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.

"A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is your best bet for preventing virtually every chronic disease. This fact has been established time and again by scientific studies on large numbers of people. The evidence in support of this recommendation is so strong that it has been endorsed by U.S. government health agencies and by virtually every major medical organization, including the American Cancer Society."

To learn more about how to fight disease with a healthy diet, read the free report "Nutrition Can Save America!" at:

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