What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Enough Fruits & Vegetables - EatingWell

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Enough Fruits & Vegetables - EatingWell

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Enough Fruits & Vegetables - EatingWell
Oct 05, 2022 1 min, 56 secs

The nutrition world is fraught with controversy about what is and isn't good for you, but there is one thing most everyone can agree on: we should all be eating more fruits and vegetables.

And you don't have to be a mathematician to know the advice about eating five servings of fruits and veggies a day.

Researchers discovered that eating 400 grams of fruits and vegetables each day could help prevent chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, stroke, and dementia.

But today, USDA guidelines recommend cups instead of servings, and the precise number is a function of your individual nutritional needs.

For most people, that's about 2 cups of fruits and 3 cups of vegetables.

Produce is so helpful that an International Journal of Epidemiology study found that people who ate about six servings (or 18 ounces) of fruits and veggies a day were 16% less likely to die from coronary heart disease than people who ate less than 1½ ounces daily. .

Produce provides more of this blood pressure-lowering mineral than any other food group.

And high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke. .

But isn't high blood pressure all about sodium.

While any produce was a win, citrus, bananas, berries, apples, kiwis, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and leafy greens like spinach provided the best brain-supporting benefits?

"In very large epidemiologic studies, where people provide detailed information about everything they eat and drink, the rates of developing some cancers are lower in people who eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables," says Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

"Or they may be so strongly associated with another cause that it's difficult to see the effects of vegetables and fruits [like cervical cancer and the HPV virus]." ?

In one study, participants who reported eating nine servings of produce a day were 74% less likely to gain weight over a decade than those who consumed half that amount.

Those who downed two servings of fruit and three servings of nonstarchy vegetables daily enjoyed the greatest longevity, reducing their odds of early death from conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease by 13% compared to people who only ate two produce servings a day. 

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