How many vegetables and fruits do you eat each day? Are you getting the maximum benefit from your food choices?
In the early 2000s, The World Health Organization (WHO) began a campaign to raise awareness of the connection between health and adequate fruit and vegetable consumption. The quality of health wasn’t the only issue. Mortality itself was measured in units of fruit and vegetable consumption.
WHO estimated 2.7 million lives could be saved each year if fruit and vegetable consumption was raised to a sufficient level. They stated that low consumption of fruits and vegetables was one of the top ten risk factors for global mortality. The recommendation equaled a minimum intake of 400g (14 ounces) of fruits and vegetables excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers. This is about 5 servings a day. This level of consumption reduced the risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
The latest research says we should do better. Now the recommendation is 10 servings (800 grams or 28 ounces) of fruits and vegetables per day.
The study conducted by scientists from the Imperial College London, analyzed 95 studies on fruit and vegetable intake. It included “up to 2 million people,” assessing “up to 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cancer cases, and 94,000 deaths.” Their conclusion was an estimated reduction of 7.8 million annual premature deaths if everyone followed this dietary advice.
When compared to not eating any fruits and vegetables, ten servings a day was associated with:
- 24 % reduced risk of heart disease
- 33 % reduced risk of stroke
- 28 % reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- 13 % reduced risk of total cancer
- 31 % reduction in premature death
While we at OLM and many others promoting a plant-based diet agree with this conclusion, we believe there is more to healthy eating than the volume of vegetables. The study did say not all fruits and vegetable were equal, but it did not stress the need for a large variety of vegetables and fruits or to choose organic and mostly raw.
We’d also like to see five servings a day versus ten, and what about 15? When do the benefits wear off? Raw or cooked? Another question this raises for us is, are we needing to double our intake of produce because of nutrient depletion in our soil?
What we do know is that gut health provides the basis of our health. Gut health determines the strength and efficiency of our immune system, the intake of nutrients to fuel our entire body, the creation of many of our neurotransmitters, and the ability to detox. An unbalanced microbiome allows an overgrowth of one bacteria over others or an overgrowth of Candida or parasites. A leaky gut is like a sewer leaking filth and disease into the bloodstream.
We have always recommended a diet consisting of 80% raw, organic produce– a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, mostly vegetables. In addition, we recommend the elimination of all artificial colors, flavorings, and preservatives; refined sugar; trans fats; MSG; and GMOs. The perfect diet is all real food, with no packaged, processed concoctions added in. Real food doesn’t have an ingredient list. There are no added chemicals.
It is important that your vegetable and fruit consumption includes a wide variety. Every fruit or vegetable contains its own combination of nutrients. We need a variety to consume as many nutrients as possible. In addition, we don’t want to overfeed just one or a few of our friendly or not so friendly bacteria or yeast by favoring one food over others. We want to maintain balance in all ways. For instance, if all of our fruit choices are high sugar, Candida thrives. We need a diverse microbiome to fend off a wide array of pathogens and to achieve this, we need a wide variety of nutrients to feed a wide variety of helpful microbiome bacteria.
If you are ill or you don’t feel well, changing your diet will change your life. We’ve seen it over and over again. If we eat a perfect diet until all traces of disease are gone, we heal very quickly. No supplement can achieve the change of health we accomplish by eating one large, organic salad filled with 15 or more vegetables each day.
If you are ready to change your life, change your diet. Go for 10+ a day. And remember, variety is key! Check out the salad recipe in the first article below.
- Detox Cheap and Easy Without Fasting – Recipes Included
- Your Guide to Root Vegetables – Health Benefits, Recipes, and More
- The Difference Between Heirlooms, Hybrids, and GMOs
- How to Detoxify and Heal the Lymphatic System
- How to Cure Lyme Disease, and Virtually Any Other Bacterial Infection, Naturally
- Eating more fruits and vegetables may prevent millions of premature deaths – Imperial College London
- We Should Be Eating 10 Portions Of Fruit And Veg A Day To Live Longer – IFL Science.com
- Forget five a day, eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death – The Guardian