From Imperial College London : Vegetables and fruits that definitely prolong life

Vegetables and fruits that definitely prolong life

Vegetables and fruits that definitely prolong life

Research concluded at Imperial College, London, has proven that eating about ten portions of veges and fruits on a daily basis prolong life and enhance vitality.

A portion of veges and fruits is calculated as 80g or 3oz which is equivalent to one pear, one small banana or a heaped full tablespoon of spinach or peas.

The study concluded that such healthy eating could reduce yearly premature deaths (death before age 70) by about 7.8 million.

Specific fruits and vegetables that directly reduce the incidence of cancers and heart diseases were also identified in the study.

The conclusions from Imperial College were made by studying data in 95 different researches involving the eating habits of 2million people.

Key Findings
Lower risk of cancer was linked to eating:
• Green vegetables like spinach
• Yellow vegetables like peppers
• Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower

Lower risk of heart diseases was linked with eating:

• Citrus fruits
• Salads
• Apples
• Cruciferous veges
• Green leafy vegetables
• Pears

More reasons to munch more fruits and vegetables……

• Eating 200g of fruits and veges per day cut the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13% while 800g cut the risk by 28%

• Eating 200g of fruits and veges per day cut the risk of cancer by 4%, while 800g cut the risk by 13%

• Eating 200g of fruits and veges per day cut the risk of a premature death by 15%, while 800g cut the risk by 31%.

The findings were published in the international journal of epidemiologists.

Dr Dagfinn Aune, one of the researchers remarked that “Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system.

Talking further, Aune said “This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold, for instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.”

The WHO recommends taking five portions of fruits (400g) daily.

It has been estimated that In the UK, only about one in three people meet the recommended daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Key dietary recommendations from WHO
Choose from a wide variety of vegetables:

• Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, chicory leaves)

• Orange vegetables (e.g. carrots, peppers)

• Crucifers (e.g. cauliflower, cabbage)

• Starchy vegetables (e.g. potatoes)

• Salad vegetables (e.g. lettuce, tomato, cucumber).

Choose from a wide variety of fruits (e.g. melons, berries, citrus and exotic fruits:

• Eat vegetables and fruits raw as often as possible.

• Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.

• Choose vegetables and fruits prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.

• Choose whole vegetables and fruits more often than juice.

• Eat fresh fruits and vegetables more often than canned or dried fruit.

• Dried fruits are high in fiber and more energy dense, therefore consume modestly.

• Canned fruits and vegetables are usually prepared with high sugar and salt content, so consume

Preparing fruit and vegetables:

• To preserve nutrients, do not overcook vegetables.

• Stir-frying, light microwaving and steaming rather than boiling are effective methods of cooking vegetables; this minimizes nutrient loss and provides a tasty product.

• Use a small amount of oil to enhance absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (e.g. vitamins A and E) and carotenoids.

• Use fresh or dried herbs, garlic, spices, flavoured vinegars or lemon juice instead of salt to add flavour to vegetables.

Tips to increase vegetable intake:

• Buy fresh vegetables in season.

• Vary vegetable choices.

• Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick and easy cooking.

• Eat more green salads (e.g. fattouch, tabbouleh, green thyme salad, cabbage salad).

• Eat raw vegetables as snacks with low-fat dip.

• Eat more vegetable-based dishes such as okra stew, green bean stew, Molokhiya stew and mixed vegetables sauté.

• Grill vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, green peppers) as part of a barbeque meal.

• Decorate plates with slices of colourful vegetables

Tips to increase fruit intake:

• Buy fresh fruit in season.

• Vary fruit choices, as fruits differ in nutrient content.

• Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, kitchen counter or in the refrigerator.

• Sprinkle fresh cut-up fruit (e.g. bananas, strawberries) or dried fruits (e.g.raisins,dates)
on top of cereal or yoghurt.

• Cut-up fruit or dried fruit makes a good snack and is easy to pack.

• For dessert, have baked apples, pears or a fruit salad.

• Choose dried fruits without added sugar or chocolate, such as madgooga (date truffles).

• Cook meat-based dishes with fruits

Author: Faisol Oladosu

Faisol - founder of

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