"5 a day works." That's the title of a publication from the U.S. government designed to encourage people to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Why? Because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows that upping your intake of fruits and vegetables helps reduce your risk of many diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. A recent study refines those recommendations even more.
The study, published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, reports that by eating your five daily servings in a ratio of two fruits to three vegetables, you increase your chances of living longer.
One thing to consider when choosing your fruits and vegetables is that not all provide the same health benefits. The researchers note that starchy vegetables, such as peas, corn, potatoes and fruit juice weren't associated with the same reduced risks. But they add that leafy greens and fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene and citrus, such as berries, citrus fruits and carrots did show health benefits.