Now it’s TEN fruit and veg a day: Experts issue new guidance for staying healthy

10-a-day keeps the doctor away! (Picture: REX Features)
10-a-day keeps the doctor away! (Picture: REX Features)

Eating our five a day can be enough of a challenge at times – but it’s now claimed that 10 portions of fruit and vegetables every day might be the answer to securing a longer life.

The new study, conducted by Imperial College London, found that 10 portions a day can prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths every year – with specific fruit and veg proving to be capable of reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Specifically, they claimed that vegetables such as spinach, peppers and cauliflower are effective in lowering the risk of cancer.

Fruits such as apples and pears can also reportedly prove beneficial in lowering the risk of heart disease and strokes.

The study, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, also claimed that 200g of vegetables cut the risk of cancer by 4%, while 800g cut the risk by 13%.

Eat it up! (Picture: REX Features)
Eat it up! (Picture: REX Features)

A similar decrease was shown with cardiovascular disease too, with 200g of fruit every day cutting the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13% while 800g reduced it by 28%.

Dr Dagfinn Aune, a researcher who led the study, said: ‘Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system.

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‘This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold. For instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.’

But if we can’t manage ten portions, he stresses that five every day is still a pretty good achievement.

‘Our findings are quite clear in that they do support five a day, but there are even some further benefits for higher intakes’, he told the BBC.

And with that, we’re off to clear out the greengrocers.