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Eating Your Broccoli Can Help You Live Longer

Eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and not just the previously recommended five, could prolong your life, according to a new research.

The University College London studied 65,000 people between 2001 and 2013 and found that the more fruit and vegetables a person ate, the less likely they are to die at any age. This is the first time research has associated eating fruits and vegetables with the rate of cancer and heart disease deaths in a nationally representative population.

The risk of dying is lowered by 42 percent for seven or more servings. Those who ate fewer servings per day still benefited, each additional serving of vegetables was linked to a 16 percent reduction in mortality, and 10 percent for fruits, respectively.

Published in Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the research findings indicated the positive impact correlates higher with vegetables than fruits.

“Vegetables have a larger effect than fruit, but fruit still makes a real difference. If you’re happy to snack on carrots or other vegetables, then that is a great choice.  But if you fancy something sweeter, a banana or any fruit will also do you good,” said lead study author Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode of University College London’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health in a statement.

But in a surprising twist, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables seemed to increase the death risk by 17 percent, proving that fresh may be the way to go.

However, since not everyone may have access to seven or more servings of  fresh produce, the authors advocate any level of vegetable and fruit consumption is ultimately better than none.

S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on Twitter @ReporterandGirl, and visit her website at

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