A new cancer study has found people who regularly ate 800g of fruit and veg a day, which is about 10 portions, had a significantly lower risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease.
Researchers looked at more than 350 studies from around the world that examined the impact of fruit and veg consumption on a range of health outcomes, such as cancer and stroke, as well as premature death.
They found eating more fruit and veg was linked to a lower risk of getting these diseases and dying early when eating up to 800g a day (around 10 portions), or 600g a day for cancer.
The specific types of fruit and veg associated with reducing the risk of developing different diseases were also listed. Researchers estimated that when using 800g a day as the optimal intake of fruit and vegetables, 7.8 million early deaths could have been avoided by people eating this amount.
The following specific fruit and vegetables were found to help reduce the risk of:
Coronary heart disease
Apples or pears, citrus fruit, fruit juices, green leafy vegetables, beta carotene-rich vegetables such as carrots and sweet potato, and vitamin C-rich fruit and vegetables;
Apples or pears, citrus fruit, green leafy vegetables and pickled vegetables
Apples or pears, citrus fruit, carrots, green leafy vegetables and non-cruciferous vegetables such as butternut squash;
Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli;
All cause of death
Apples or pears, berries, citrus fruit, cooked or raw vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, potatoes and green leafy vegetables or salads.
It can be hard to eat properly in the current Coronavirus lock down, but it is especially important to look after ourselves, to stay as healthy as possible and keep our immune system strong. But it is equally imperative to remain realistic about our healthy eating goals.
If you are in the majority of people who struggle to get their 5 a day as current guidance advises, then this may be a more realistic aim than worrying about the higher target this study suggests.