It’s no secret eating five servings of fruits and vegetables is a boon for your overall health and well-being. We’ve known that for years. But it’s always been a little vague in terms of the breakdown. In a new study from the American Heart Association, published in Circulation, there’s actually an optimal ratio of fruits to vegetables that can help you live longer.
Turns out two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables is the sweet spot. The study was based on health data, including dietary feedback, from more than 100,000 people over 30 years. Those results were combined with data on fruit and vegetable intake in corroboration with death from 26 international studies representing 1.9 million people.
Analysis of the combined studies associated five servings of produce each day with the lowest risk of death. Interestingly, eating more than five servings did not provide additional benefits. The study found some powerful numbers that back up their findings. For example, participants who had a “5-a-day” diet had a 13 percent lower risk of death from all causes, a 12 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 10 percent lower risk of death from cancer, and a 35 percent lower risk of death from respiratory disease.
Of course, the diet only works if you follow it. But, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in 10 adults eat enough fruits and vegetables. So, if you want to live a little longer, spend some more time in the produce section. And, just to be clear, the researchers pointed out that fruit juices and starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, and potatoes should not count toward your five servings (sorry).