A diet mainly comprised of plant-based foods is healthy. For instance, dark green leafy vegetables have lots of health benefits, and along with fruits it’s even healthier. Researchers at Imperial College London recommends doubling the servings for fruits and vegetables.
The study1 finds that increasing from 5 servings to 10 servings of vegetables a day has positive benefits. Among the notable health benefits includes lower risk of cardiovascular disease, it lowers risk of cancers and premature death.
…these results support public health recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable intake for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature mortality.
What Does 10 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables Look Like?
For people who are not eating that much fruits and vegetables, 10 servings may seem a huge amount. It may also sound impossible to consume that much amount. But, how much and what does it look like to have 10 servings per day?
Well, it turned out it’s not that much. The amount looks very doable to consume especially when the entire 10 servings are spread throughout the day. Here is what 10 servings of fruits and vegetables look like.
The World Health Organization originally recommends eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. This new study finds that doubling the servings to 10 is more beneficial.
In Western societies, this amount of servings may seem a lot. However, in agricultural countries where people depend mostly on eating plants, it’s happening daily.
Fruits and Vegetables For Prostate Health
A plant-based diet has been found beneficial for prostate health. Of course, this kind of diet includes consuming nuts, which is beneficial for disease prevention and longevity.
Moreover, focusing on consuming whole foods such as fruits and vegetables is a good way to minimize sugar consumption. Today, there are many names of sugar and they are present in most highly processed and packaged foods.
And, we know that too much sugar consumption has many unhealthy consequences. It cripples the metabolism leading to weight gain and obesity, disrupts the endocrine system much like harmful chemical do, and it’s addictive2.
Quick Findings Overview Of The Study
Here’s that the researchers find when consuming 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. These calculations were based in a comparison of not eating fruits and vegetables at all.
- 33% reduced risk of stroke
- 31% reduction in premature death
- 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- 24% reduced risk of heart disease
- 13% reduced risk of total cancer
In the study, researchers also find fruits and vegetable consumption are beneficial in;
- reduces cholesterol level (of course, referring to bad cholesterol)
- boosts blood vessels health
- boosts the immune system
According to the researchers, these benefits may be due to the complex nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. In fact, plants are rich in antioxidants, which is beneficial in reducing DNA damage. And, of course, cancer prevention.
Moreover, there are many plants considered as aphrodisiac foods. There is no secret or magic in them. They’re simply nourishing.
The researchers also find that vegetables like carrots, spinach and peppers were the most effective in reducing cancer risk. As a matter of fact, chili peppers are found beneficial for longevity.
Beneficial For Reducing Lung-Related Diseases Due To Smoking
Speaking of DNA damage, cigarette smoking does. Fortunately, fruits and vegetables come to the rescue. Another study3 finds that fruits and vegetables can lower risks of developing developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD).
Every serving of fruits and vegetables lowers risk of COPD by 8% in individuals who smoke and 4% in former smokers. This is good news! Hence, if you want to quit smoking and heal your body for good, fruits and vegetables are vital components in your diet.
Unhealthy Diet Causes Cardiometabolic Deaths
Another study4 finds a connection of deaths from stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease to unhealthy diet.
In this study, researchers find an estimated 7.5% of the cardiometabolic deaths are due to not consuming enough fruits.
More men died than women caused by poor diet. Additionally, poor diet has also been found causing a greater portion of deaths among younger people compared to older ones.
What’s even more alarming, poor health due to unhealthy lifestyle is linked to premature deaths. This data comes from the Telepgraph report in 2015.
In that same year, an Australian population-based cohort study5 supports the British findings.
Adherence to healthy lifestyle behaviors could reduce the risk for death from all causes. Specific combinations of lifestyle risk behaviors may be more harmful than others, suggesting synergistic relationships among risk factors.
Should You Go Vegan?
If you want to, yes you can. But if you don’t want to be a fully vegan, make sure your diet is comprised of mostly fruits and vegetables. You may have heard that meat is the source of the right protein.
However, plants are also rich in protein. Where do you think the cows and other animals get their proteins? Cows, goats, and other animals we sourced for meat are vegetarians. And, yet, the are able to build muscles, which we turn into food, meat.
One of the considered superfoods, moringa is rich in protein surpassing eggs. Beans and lentils are also rich in proteins. Even nuts like walnuts, pistachio, cashews, and others are all rich proteins, too.
Hence, don’t think you would be deficient in protein if you choose to go vegan. As a matter of fact, some studies find that plant protein is better and reduces risks of death6.
However, I think being balance is better. Balance in the sense it’s not 50-50, but 80-20 where 80% of your diet is from plants and 20% come from meats.
Does Eating Organic Matters?
According to this paper, those who eat organic foods tend to have healthier dietary patterns.
However, the word “organic” has actually some certain attachments. The first impression, we thought that organic produced don’t use chemicals. It turned out that some organic produced have pesticide residues.
However, real organic produce grown without pesticides can make a difference in your health. Eating such foods reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. This is also true with eating meat from animals fed on grass.
Some people say that eating purely organic foods can be expensive. However, the long-term benefits can be a lot cheaper reducing costs of medicines and hustles due to illnesses. Whenever possible, choose fresh produced that are grown without chemicals. They may be more expensive in some areas, but it’s worth it.
However, if it’s difficult to find fruits and vegetables that are chemical free, simply put additional few efforts removing these chemicals. The method may not be able to remove the harmful pesticides and other chemicals, but its presence is reduced dramatically.
Here’s how to do it;
- Upon arriving from the groceries with your fruits and vegetables, soak them in water baking soda, or apple cider vinegar, or simply the plain white vinegar
- Leave the fruits and vegetables between 15 to 30 minutes
- Rinse them thoroughly in running water
- Prepare and enjoy your fruits and vegetables
Unfortunately, in the case of genetically modified organisms or GMO foods, you can’t do anything about it. If you’re worried about the side-effects of GMO, (which you should be) make sure you avoid it.
Studies find that GMO foods have negative impacts on gut health.