We all know that we need to eat our fruits and veggies everyday as part of a healthy diet. New research is now showing that those of us who don’t get five full servings in a day may lose up to three years off their life.
Research performed by Alicja Wolk showed that people who didn’t eat veggies and fruits died three years earlier on average than those who did. She also found that eating more than the recommended five servings a day does not seem to have an impact. Data for this study was collected from 71,000 Swedes, who were ages 45 to 83. They were followed for 13 years.
The participants of the study were surveyed in 1997 and 1998 about their diets. They were asked how many servings of fruits and vegetables they ate in a day. Some of the fruits they were asked about were oranges, apples, berries and bananas. Some of the veggies they were asked about were carrots, cabbage, lettuce, *tomatoes, and beets. Nearly 11,500 of the participants had died by December of 2010.
Wolk and her team found that people who reported that they didn’t eat their servings of fruits and veggies had a 53% higher chance of dying during the follow-up period than those who did. Those who ate at least one serving a day lived an average of 19 months longer than their counterparts who did not. Those who ate three servings a day lived an average of 32 months longer.
Interestingly, those who ate more servings per day took in more calories than those who didn’t.
There is no clear connection yet between eating more veggies and fruits than recommended and living longer, but all of the small studies that have been done show a decrease in the years a person lives if they do not get the vitamins and minerals that they need when they don’t get their five servings a day.