Researchers claim that five daily portions of fruits and vegetables is linked to lowest risk of death from cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

It is a well-known fact that veggies and fruits are a crucial part of a healthy diet and helps ward off many diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. Even though several pieces of research have documented health benefits, the results are not consistent.

The latest study, led by a team of Chinese and U.S. researchers, claims that the intake of more than five portions of fruits and vegetables daily help boost longevity.

The researchers examined the relation between intake of fruit and vegetables and the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer deaths. For this, they evaluated the results of sixteen studies that included a total of 833,234 participants and a total of 56,423 deaths. In order to minimize the bias, the researchers also took into account difference in study design as well as quality.

They noticed that higher intake of fruits and vegetables was linked to a significant lower risk of death from all causes, especially cardiovascular diseases.

The average risk of death from all-cause dropped by 5 percent for each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables, and additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables further dropped the risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases by 4 percent.

But, the threshold was recognized at five servings per day, after which they did not notice any reduction in the risk of death. However, higher consumption of fruit and vegetables was not linked to risk of death from cancer.

The researchers “advice to eat adequate amounts of fruit and vegetables, the adverse effects of obesity, physical inactivity, smoking and high alcohol intake on cancer risk should be further emphasized. A higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes, particularly from cardiovascular diseases. The results support current recommendations to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to promote health and longevity.”

The study was documented in BMJ’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.