New research published in the British Medical Journal supports the view that consuming five portions of fruit and vegetables is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but suggests that eating more may have no additional benefits.
A previous study in England found that eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day was healthier than the minimum five but this is not supported by the BMJ analysis of worldwide studies which found that after five portions a day, there was no further impact.
Current UK National Health Service guidance is to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but with most people only manage about four the message for the public is still to eat more fruit and veg.
The new analysis looked at 16 studies in the US, Asia and Europe involving more than 833,000 people, of whom about 56,000 died during the follow-up period.
Researchers in the US and China found eating more fruit and vegetables was linked with a lower risk of dying from any cause, particularly from cardiovascular disease.
Commenting on the study, Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Although our five-a-day message is well established, worryingly 70% of adults are still not meeting this target.
“Just remember that every extra portion you eat towards your five-a-day could help you keep your heart healthy.”
Source: British Medical Journal