Researchers from Harvard Medical School say the perfect combo of two fruit servings and three vegetable servings each day will add years to the human lifespan.
Study authors examined health records on two million adults from every continent before reaching their “5-a-day” mix recommendation.
They add that a diet full of fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of the leading causes of death such as heart disease and cancer. Unfortunately, the study finds only one in 10 people are eating enough fruits or vegetables on a daily basis.
Those adults eating slightly more vegetables (three servings) than fruits (two servings) had the longest lifespans.
Unfortunately, not all fruits and vegetables provide the same amount of protection against disease. Researchers say starchy vegetables (like peas and corn), fruit juices, and potatoes did not help participants live longer.
Spinach, lettuce, and kale are the big winners on the veggie side. Fruit and vegetables containing beta carotene and vitamin C, like citrus fruits, berries, and carrots, also contributed to a longer life.