We’ve been told for years that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and can improve your life. Well, it turns out that the nutritionists and health care workers that have worked to spread this news weren’t telling us the whole story.
Research shows that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables can actually extend your life, and add years to it.
Researchers from the University College London used data from the Health Survey for England to outline what habits are best for lengthening life. These habits are the same needed to trim your waistline and boost your daily energy.
The recently released study on eating habits is the first to compare the consumption of fruits and vegetables with rates of cancer, heart disease, and all-cause deaths in a nationally-representative population. It is also the first to link health benefits to per-portion quantities of fruits and vegetables, and the first to identify the types of fruits and vegetables with the most benefit.
These figures are compelling and consistent and were published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. What was found after collecting data from the eating habits of over 65,000 people between the years 2001 and 2013 was that the more fresh fruits and vegetables these people ate – at any age – the less likely they were to die.
It turns out good habits pay off. The problem is healthy, new habits are often difficult to begin. But I’ve found that the easiest way to start a healthy new habit is simply to make the decision to receive good body treatment overall. That is, get attention from a trained wellness professional who knows more about how you are doing physically than you do. Chiropractic care is the best way to get the attention you need.
Here are the research findings:
- Eating 1-3 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day decreases your risk of death in the three categories (cancer, heart disease, and all causes) by 11%, 9%, and 14%, respectively, compared with eating none.
- Eating 3-5 servings per day decreases the risks of death due to cancer, heart disease and all causes by 19%, 18%, and 29%, respectively.
- Eating 7 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day decreases your risk of dying from these causes by a whopping 25%, 31%, and 42%, respectively.
- The researchers also found that fresh vegetables have a more significant effect on longevity and lowered mortality risk than fruits, with each daily vegetable portion added to the diet lowering mortality risk by 16%. Eating salad lowered mortality risk by 13% for each portion added daily, and fruit lowered mortality risk by 4% for each added portion.
- Interestingly, the researchers found no benefits to longevity from fruit juice, as opposed to fresh, whole fruit.
- Furthermore, canned or frozen fruit appeared to actually increase risk of death by 17% per portion. The researchers attributed this to the fact that most canned and frozen fruits contain high sugar levels, and that the negative health impacts of the sugar may outweigh any benefits.
What is a serving size of vegetables?
According to the American Heart Association, a serving of vegetables is 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist), or 1/2 cup of other vegetables or 1/2 cup of vegetable juice. For fruits, a serving is 1 medium fruit (medium is defined as the size of a baseball), or 1/2 cup chopped fruit, cooked or canned, or 1/2 cup fruit juice (best if there is no added sweeteners).
Which delivery of fruits and vegetables are good (canned, dried, or frozen)?
Out of 65,226 participants (mostly 35 and older) the data shows that some types of fruits and vegetable packaging and delivery are better than others. Here’s what we found:
Worst (actually harmful): The mortality risk in individuals was worse than the control group when people consumed frozen and canned fruit rather than other varieties. This is likely due to the added sugars and additional processing in the canned fruits. Frozen fruits are generally considered safe and very healthy; however, it is important to make sure you look at the packaging of fruit products to ensure that no additional sugars are added.
Best: These varieties of foods demonstrated the lowest mortality risks of all foods. All were very beneficial to lifespan longevity, but in going in order from number one to eight, #1 came out with the best statistics.
3) Dried fruit
4) Vegetables in composites – meaning dishes that are made mainly from vegetables
5) Fruit in composites- these are dishes made mainly from fruits
6) Pulses- legumes- dry beans like pinto beans, kidney beans and navy beans; dry peas; lentils
7) Fresh fruit
8) Fruit juice/smoothies
Lead author of the study Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode says of the findings, “We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy, but the size of the effect is staggering. The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. 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.”
Start a new habit to improve your life and longevity. A happy, healthy life includes a healthy diet, decreased pain-levels, and better movement overall. These factors improve your energy levels as well as your motivation to carry out daily, healthy and inspiring actions. Healthy eating is one piece of the puzzle, if you want to live long and feel great, whole body care is another. We have experience in helping you move better. Give us a call to see how Chiropractic care can be a pain-free and pampering new step for you this year.
Your favorite local pharmacy and health store is packed with several brands of popular nutritional supplements. Jump online and you’ll find online catalogues bursting at their website borders with hundreds of brands.
Your goal is probably simple. You either want to lose weight in a healthy manner or you want to improve your health and energy levels and ultimately feel happy.
On occasion, the right nutritional medicine can help the body feel tuned up and primed for optimal function. This is also the case with the help of hands-on motion therapy through chiropractic treatments. Your muscles and joints can move much more fluidly and with less discomfort so that you feel drawn to getting up and getting into motion. You can feel primed and ready-to-go in your body even if your head isn’t in the game yet. The right type of energy boost through proper nutrition can bring a sense of internal calm along with renewed energy too.
If you desire the best nutritional supplements to support an active, healthy body you may be asking, “How do you buy the best nutritional supplements with so many choices on the market?”
Let’s go over what to look for:
Tip #1: “Natural” isn’t always natural.
Just because that bottle says, “All Nature,” doesn’t make it true or safe. If you’re coping with a chronic health condition, all natural might seem like the safe alternative for a good nutritional supplement, but this isn’t always the case. Always consult your doctor before taking a supplement to rule out possible side effects or severe reactions.
Tip #2: Check for a “USP Verified” seal of approval.
Products bearing the USP Verified seal of approval have met the strict requirements for quality per the U.S. Pharmacopeia group. The requirements focus on a combination of overall quality and ingredient potency plus purity. Products holding this seal are generally considered to be of good quality and from reputable manufacturers.
Tip #3: Always read the product label in its entirety.
Before buying any dietary or nutritional supplement, always read the product label in its entirety. The truth is most companies refuse to guarantee the quality and effectiveness of their product. Reading the label tell you exactly what you’re buying, and the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” applies. Cheap supplements are made from inferior ingredients. They are often less absorbed by the body and therefore less beneficial. Yet, inferior supplements sell for the same or greater price when compared to high quality versions.
Tip #4: Do your homework- supplements aren’t well regulated.
The FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements with an iron fist. In fact, supplement manufacturers don’t need FDA approval to put their product on the market. It’s your job to do your homework before buying a supplement. Ensure the manufacturer sports a good reputation and stands behind their product. Check out consumer reviews as well. Research the ingredients from the label and confirm their quality and bioavailability (i.e. how easy and fully they are absorbed by the body).
Top #5: Consult a professional.
Did you know that many chiropractors have specialized training and experience related to supplements and proper diet and nutrition?
I regularly help people with their nutrition needs and make sure I recommend only quality products. Learn more by contacting Dr. Nicole Muschett, Chiropractor today!
The Right Diet Path to Health: Research Shows a 40% Decrease in Stroke Even after a 4-Year Follow-Up
Many people have heard of the possible health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. But are these legitimate claims?
Why should you actively try to eat a certain way when you might be following an unfounded fad diet which becomes time-consuming, expensive and more difficult than what you do already?
What has been discovered recently is that although the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been boasted by anecdotal evidence and health gurus for years, it has now proven itself through science.
What this means for you is that you can use this large scale study to ensure that you and your loved ones eat well so you live long, healthy, happy and productive lives.
While a couple extra pounds will likely bum you out, what’s worse is it can start impacting the quality of your life from the inside out. Just a few extra pounds can create a greater degree of injury to your joints, and bad diet choices can slowly create physical exhaustion and dysfunction within your body.
In our office, we ease the body pain from joint stress. One way to help yourself feel good is to maintain a healthy weight. Also read the facts below to learn more about how to get your diet right for the health of your heart and blood vessels.
Researchers from the University of Barcelona performed a large-scale 5-year study that found those who follow a Mediterranean diet can reduce their risk of death from the effects of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke, by 30 percent.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed 7,447 people who had been selected to participate due to significant cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease and being overweight.
The aim of the study was primarily to determine the effect of diet choice on health by considering and counting the number of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from any cause while it was conducted. These efforts were primarily to come to a conclusion about how effective the Mediterranean diet is in reducing catastrophic health events, and thereby increase longevity.
The participants of the health research study were randomly assigned to one of three groups:
- A standard Mediterranean diet, supplemented with at least 4 tablespoons of olive oil per day
- A standard Mediterranean diet supplemented with about an ounce per day of nuts (walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts)
- A low-fat diet group
Participants in the Mediterranean diet group consumed:
- Two servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit daily
- They were to add fish and legumes to the menu at least three times a week.
- They were asked to substitute white meat for red and to limit processed meats and dairy products.
- If the participants drank alcohol, they were advised to drink a minimum of seven glasses of wine per week with their meals.
- Participants were also asked to reduce the amount of commercially baked goods they consumed to no more than three times a week.
Participants in the low-fat diet group were to avoid eating nuts and any type of vegetable oil (olive oil included), cut off visible fat from meat and limit store-bought desserts to less than once a week. They were asked to eat three or fewer servings daily of a simple carbohydrate such as bread, potatoes, pasta or rice, and consume three servings of low-fat dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables.
No calorie limits were placed on any of the groups, nor were they encouraged to increase their level of physical activity. Those in the low-fat group had the most difficult time adhering to the dietary guidelines and most participants reverted to a standard Western diet, with a slightly lower fat intake.
Those assigned to the Mediterranean diets were found to be not only 30% less likely to have suffered a stroke, heart attack, or died during the study, they were also 40% less likely to have suffered a stroke in the study’s 4-year follow-up period than those who were assigned the low-fat diet.
Not only have low-fat diets been shown to not be of much benefit, but they are known to be difficult to maintain because they leave people feeling unsatisfied.
How to incorporate the Mediterranean diet when you’re choosing foods on the go:
“Cheeseburgers and fries are fast food staples, and frankly don’t fit a Mediterranean diet plan,” says Donna Feldman, MS, RD and contributor to www.theDietChannel.com. Here are a few food selection tips to stick to a mostly Mediterranean diet when you’re on the go:
- Avoid items with cheese or mayonnaise spreads
- Avoid fried potatoes and breaded, fried meats
- Choose meal-sized salads with chicken or turkey meat on top. Subtract the croutons and add more protein or salad if you’re still hungry
- Choose the simplest meat dishes (grilled chicken minus the buns or sauces)
- Avoid processed and breaded meats such as chicken nuggets, if you have the option
- Avoid side fillers like soda pop, desserts and chips – instead choose water, vegetables or fruit
- An ideal pizza would be thin crust, with feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, fresh spinach and perhaps olives, mushrooms and peppers
- When in doubt, opt for salads with olive-oil dressing and some meat or fish, plus a whole grain roll once in a while is safe
You’ll be surprised how satisfied you can get from eating a meal minus much of the sugar, processed meats and bread.
Healthy is created from the choices of what you put into your body as well as how well you treat and take care of your body on the outside. If it seems confusing to keep up with what dietary information to follow during the day, imagine how hard it is to look out for the everyday symptoms that indicate that the body is getting worn down. At our office, we help our clients keep pain away, heal injuries quickly and make sure their bodies keep moving like a well-oiled machine. Ask us about our complimentary body balance evaluation.