The Secrets about the Superfoods that Trim Your Waistline and Add Years to Your Life
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.