Most people like to exercise caution: they put seat belts on, look both ways before they cross the street, and lock their doors when they leave home. So, why is that when it comes to what they put in their body, caution gets thrown to the wind?
Put simply, people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommends that people consume one-and-a-half to two cups of fruits per day and two or three cups of vegetables at the absolute minimum. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about one in 10 Americans are hitting the target.
And new research is showing it could be costing lives.
A new study presented at Nutrition 2019, the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting, suggests that low fruit and vegetable intake is responsible for one in seven deaths, and one in 12 deaths, respectively, from heart disease. The data indicated that low fruit consumption resulted in more than one million deaths from stroke and more than 500,000 deaths from heart disease, and low vegetable intake resulted in 200,000 deaths from stroke and more than 800,000 deaths from heart disease per year.
Fruits and vegetables are a major source of fiber, vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. These nutrients can fight inflammation, promote a healthy heart, relax stiff arteries, and encourage better blood flow. Repeated studies have indicated a multitude of health benefits associated with diets high in fruit and vegetables, to the point where it is a significant health risk to eat too few of them.
If you buckle your seat belt when in the car and look both ways before you cross the street, you should be eating your fruits and vegetables. They have a significant influence over your health and well-being, and eating them regularly might help you live longer, better, and safer.