These are the findings from scientists from Imperial College London, who carefully analyzed 95 studies focusing on vegetable and fruit intake – and results indicate that boosting intake “shows major benefit in reducing the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.”
Although people who eat the recommended five portions of produce each day show a reduced risk of disease, the “greatest benefit” came from ten daily portions. Eating 800 grams a day was associated with:
24 percent reduction in risk of heart disease
33 percent reduction in risk of stroke
28 percent reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease
13 percent reduction in risk of total cancer
31 percent reduction in dying prematurely
Risk calculations compared people who ate ten daily portions versus those who ate none.
Healthy Eating and Risk Prevention
One portion of vegetable intake equals approximately three “heaped teaspoons of cooked vegetables such as spinach, peas, broccoli or cauliflower.” The overview of the study listed specific vegetables that “may help prevent heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular, and early death,” and these include:
Spinach: Consider crisp and tender purple leaved spinach for added interest on the plate; plus, purple vegetables are getting plenty of attention as flavorful, nutritional powerhouses
Lettuce: Discover how petite mixed lettuce is an ideal example of farm-to-table eating; besides that, they’re one of Farmer Lee Jones’s favorite veggies!
Broccoli: This vegetable has been enjoyed in Italy since the 6th century BC, and is so rich in Vitamin C that one cup of chopped broccoli has as much of that vitamin as an orange
Chicory: According to Food Facts, “Chicory is blessed with small amounts of nearly every essential vitamin.”
Cabbage: Consider adding micro Chinese cabbage to your dishes for an interesting change of pace
Cauliflower: The bright green color of the alverdale cauliflower adds an unexpected touch of color
Foods that may help to reduce risk of cancer include:
Spinach: Red Malabar spinach is crisp and succulent with green leaves and bright red stems
Green Beans: Brightly colored lime green Carmellini® beans offer up a sweet fresh bean flavor, and a succulent, crunchy texture
Yellow peppers: This eye-catching vegetable is packed with healthy anti-oxidants
Yellow carrots: Our yellow carrots are buttery and sweet with a nutty finish, so crunchy and juicy
Cruciferous vegetables: Our exotic kale blend is available year round
One researcher who was a leader in this study said that “it is clear from this work that a high intake of fruit and vegetables hold tremendous health benefits, and we should try to increase their intake in our diet.”
Need More Information?
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his daughter, Jane, recently provided information about how a plant-based diet can help to fight disease. They were our honored guests at the Culinary Vegetable Institute – and here is Jane’s pithy summary of their presentation: “Eat more fruit and veggies. Our health will be so much better if we swap out meat and dairy for grains, greens, roots, fruits and berries!”
Dr. Esselstyn is the author of the New York Times’ bestselling book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, with insights provided the result of 20 years of intensive research. Jane is also an author, and is an RN. Find out more about that special evening and choose from more than 600 varieties of fresh vegetables bursting with flavor from The Chef’s Garden.