Mom Was Right: Eat Your Veggies and You Could Live Longer, Study Finds



Okay, okay, we all know fruits and veggies are good for us. But new research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, shows us just how good: Eating a hefty dose of fruits and veggies every day could prolong your life, according to the study. Now I’ve got your attention, right?

The study, reported in the BBC, examined over 65,000 adults in England, aged 35 and above, monitoring their dietary habits and health statuses for over seven years; during the course of the study, over 4,000 subjects died. When researchers looked at the dietary and mortality data together, they found an inverse association between fruit and veggie consumption and risk of death: In other words, the more fruits and veggies subjects ate each day, the less likely they were to die at any age.

That means subjects at the upper end of the fruits-and-veggies-consumption spectrum—the average daily intake was less than four servings a day—saw the most benefit. Researchers found that participants who reported eating seven or more servings of produce daily reduced their risk of death, from any cause, by 42 percent during the course of the study. More specifically, produce-loving participants reduced their risk of death from heart disease by 31 percent and from cancer by 25 percent.

Pretty sweet, right? Not so fast. Before you toast this news with a self-congratulatory glass of fruit juice, listen to this, from the BBC: “Fruit juice conferred no benefit, while canned fruit appeared to increase the risk of death – possibly because it is stored in sugary syrup, say the researchers.” Womp womp. Proving? Not all “fruit” is created equal.

Studies like this always have us thinking about our fruit-and-veggie habits. Are we getting enough? Do we have enough variety? And how can we sneak more good stuff into our meals?

Take our poll below to cop to your daily consumption. Then tell us your favorite fruits and veggies—and how you eat ’em—in the comments.

POLL: Do You Eat Enough Fruits and Veggies?

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