You know that office fruit bowl that the friendly HR person keeps sending a gentle email reminder about, alerting you to the possibility of a cheeky 3pm satsuma? Well, you need to start absolutely going to town on it.
Similarly, if you’re the kind of person that gives yourself a pat on the back for choosing a salad instead of chips, then it’s time to step it up buddy, because Very Clever Science People now advise that 10 portions of fruit and veg a day is recommended if you want to give yourself the best chance at avoiding nasty diseases, like death.
That’s right, that classic five-a-day mantra just doesn’t cut it in 2017; double your load if you want to stick two fingers up at the grim reaper.
Here’s the rundown: according to a study led by Imperial College London eating 10 portions – a portion being 80g, roughly the size of a small banana) – a day reduces the risk of having a stroke by 33%, cardiovascular disease by 28%, and cuts the likelihood of getting cancer by 13%. Eating 800g a day cuts the risk of premature death by 31%.
Lead author Dr Dagfinn Aune, from the School of Public Health at Imperial, said: “Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system.
“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.
“It is clear from this work that a high intake of fruit and vegetables holds tremendous health benefits, and we should try to increase their intake in our diet.”
It’s not all bad news for the cauliflower dodgers, though. The research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology concluded that eating just two-and-a-half portions daily would reduce the risk of heat disease by 16%, and cancer by 4%.
But if you want our (and science’s) advice, you should be treating the fruit and veg aisle like Dale Winton’s Supermarket Sweep.