Transcript: Fruits, Veggies, & Longevity: How Many Minutes Per Mouthful?
Probably the least controversial advice in all of nutrition is eat more fruits and vegetables, which is to say eat more plants, since the term vegetable just basically just means all parts of the plant that aren’t fruit. Eat more fruits and vegetables if for no other reason than to live longer, but only recently did we learn how much longer.
The first study to follow people over time to evaluate a dose-response curve between fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality. Compared to those eating five servings of fruits and veggies a day, those only eating four lose a month off their lifespan. Only three servings, lose three months. Then we start going off the cliff. At 2 servings a day we live 7 months shorter, 1 serving practically a year and a half, two years gone at half serving a day, and then three years of our lives down the drain.
Just a single serving of fruit, like one apple, could mean a 19 month difference between life and death. And one daily salad, could mean years more time on this planet.
This study mostly looked at people in their 50s and 60s. Is it too late by our 70s? No. Women in their 70s with the most carotenoid phytonutrients in their bloodstream were twice as likely to survive five years than those with the lowest. Doubling one’s likelihood of survival, just eating some more fruits and vegetables. In this study out of Taiwan, spending just 50 cents a day on fruits or vegetables appears to buy us about a 10% drop in mortality. That’s quite a bargain. Imagine if there was a drug that—without side-effects—could lower our risk of death 10%. How much do you think drug companies would charge? Probably more than 50 cents.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.
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