5 fruits and vegetables a day: extraordinary health benefits

People who consume at least five servings of fruit and vegetables each day live longer on average than those who ignore these vegetables. A longer life but also in better conditions with reductions in the occurrence of diseases such as diabetes, cancers or cardiovascular diseases.

All organizations dedicated to the prevention of chronic diseases, whether it’s heart disease, diabetes or cancer, agree that consuming a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is absolutely essential to reducing the incidence and mortality associated with these diseases.

However, despite this consensus, barely a quarter of the population eats the recommended amount of plants daily and there is no longer any doubt that this deficiency contributes to the high incidence of these diseases in our society. The impact of this plant deficiency is particularly devastating when combined with excessive calorie consumption, as is unfortunately too often the case. This overconsumption promotes the creation of pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory conditions inside the body, an imbalance that is accentuated by the absence of phytoprotective molecules from plants, which deprives the body of one of its main means of defense against the aggression caused by this chronic inflammation.

In other words, we eat a lot, but we eat badly: too much sugar, fat, salt and meat on one side, not enough fruits and vegetables on the other. Correcting these extremes by bringing plant-based products back to the forefront of our dietary habits is therefore the essential prerequisite for any preventive approach aimed at reducing the burden imposed by chronic diseases.

Few fruits and vegetables: a risk of mortality increased by 53%

The importance of regularly consuming fruit and vegetables is well illustrated by the results of a study carried out with 71 706 Swedes aged 53 at 83 years. By analyzing the dietary habits of this population for 19 years, the researchers observed that people who never ate fruits and vegetables had a 53% higher risk of premature mortality and lived three years less than those who ate five or more servings a day.

This effect seems particularly pronounced for vegetables, with a reduction in life expectancy of 32 months in people who never ate it, while those who abstained from consuming fruit lived 19 months less.

These results are all the more remarkable given that the he study considered the consumption of plants as a whole, without taking into account the contribution of those which are known to exert a powerful protective effect against heart disease and cancer (crucifers, berries, citrus fruits, for example example).

5 wells and vegetables per day: an increase in life expectancy

The increase in life expectancy observed in the study could be even greater for people who consume in abundance these “super-plants” containing large amounts of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer molecules . In this sense, recent results indicate that

the simple consumption of three servings of nuts per week alone reduces 55 % risk of mortality associated with heart disease and 40 % cancer mortality.

Not only vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are truly exceptional foods that deserve to be at the top of the list of each of our meals, both because of their taste and their high content of phytoprotective molecules that maintain balance inside the body.

Even today, plants are still too often perceived as foods that only serve to provide the vitamins and minerals essential to the functioning of the body. This reductionist vision is not only outdated, but totally false and even dangerous, because it implies that plants can be replaced by multivitamin tablets, which is absolutely not the case.


Bellavia A et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause mortality: a dose-response analysis. Am J Clin Nutr,164: 454-9.

Guasch-Ferré M et al. Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Medicine 11: 164.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can replace the advice of a health professional.

Do you like our content?

Receive our latest publications every day for free and directly in your mailbox


7065 fruits and vegetables per day

Related Articles

Back to top button