The right ‘5-a-day’ mix of fruits and vegetables can boost longevity

Eating two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day is the right mix for longevity, according to a large new study from researchers from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

“This amount likely offers the most benefit in terms of prevention of major chronic disease and is a relatively achievable intake for the general public,” said lead study author Dong Wang, research scientist in the Department of Nutrition, in a March 1, 2020, CNBC article.

The study looked at 30 years’ worth of nutrition data from more than 100,000 women and men participating in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, as well as data from 26 other studies that included another 2 million adults worldwide.

Eating more than five servings per day of fruits and vegetables was not linked with additional health benefits, the researchers found. They also found that certain fruits and vegetables provided the biggest benefits, including green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and brussels sprouts, foods rich in beta carotene, and citrus fruits and berries. Least healthful were starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, and potatoes.

In a March 5, 2021, Inverse article, Wang recommended partnerships between government, NGOs, and chefs to “make the nutritious food tastier” in order to prompt Americans to eat their five-a-day mix.

Read the CNBC article: Eating 2 fruits and 3 vegetables per day is the right mix for longevity: Harvard Study

Read the Inverse article: To Live Longer, Scientists Recommend Eating This ‘5-A-Day’ Mix