Five portions of fruit and veg a day is good for you, but 10 is much better and could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year, say scientists.
The findings of the study led by Imperial College London may dismay the two in three adults who struggle to manage three or four portions – perhaps some tomatoes in a sandwich at lunchtime, an apple and a few spoonfuls of peas at dinner.
All of that is good because a daily intake of even 200g, or two and a half standard 80g portions, is associated with a 16% reduced risk of heart disease, an 18% reduced risk of stroke, a 13% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, 4% reduced risk of cancer and a 15% reduction in the risk of premature death.
But the study suggests we should be piling up platefuls of vegetables and raiding the fruit bowl every day if we want the best chance of avoiding chronic diseases or an early death.
Most people struggle to eat three or four portions a day, the study shows.