A new study has found that consuming just a few servings of fruits and vegetables daily can be as beneficial for health as walking an additional 4,000 steps. The research by scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health highlights the importance of a healthy diet in maintaining good health.
The study analyzed data from over 100,000 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which are long-term investigations of the risk factors for chronic diseases. The researchers looked at the participants’ daily food intake and physical activity levels and measured their risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
The study showed that those who consumed five servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a 13% lower risk of death from all causes than those who drank two servings or fewer. Similarly, those who walked an additional 4,000 steps per day had a 16-18% lower risk of death from all causes than those who walked fewer steps.
Interestingly, the study also found that consuming more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day did not further reduce the risk of death. It suggests there may be a threshold beyond which additional servings provide little benefit.
The findings of this study have important implications for public health. Many struggle to meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, five servings daily. However, this research suggests that consuming just a few servings daily can have significant health benefits.
The study also highlights the importance of a holistic approach to health, which includes a healthy diet and regular physical activity. While walking an additional 4,000 steps per day may be challenging for some, consuming a few servings of fruits and vegetables daily is a relatively simple and achievable goal that can significantly impact health.
Therefore, diet and physical activity are crucial in maintaining good health in this study. By making small changes to our diet and lifestyle, such as consuming more fruits and vegetables, we can improve our overall health and reduce our risk of chronic diseases.