Five a day for better health

If you’re getting five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, good news — you may be on track for a longer life. An analysis of multiple studies published online March 1, 2021, by Circulation found that people eating the government’s daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables had a lower risk of early death than people who ate only two servings per day.

This included a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or respiratory disease. But daily servings from starchy options — such as peas, corn, or potatoes — or from fruit juices, didn’t seem to have the same beneficial effect.

The Harvard researchers looked at 66,719 women and 42,016 men from two large studies. They also included an analysis of 24 other studies. The risk reduction from eating fruits and vegetables was seen across all the various studies.

At the start of the study periods, participants were free from cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. They were asked to fill out dietary questionnaires at the beginning of the study and every two to four years after that. During a nearly 30-year follow-up, more than 18,000 participants died.

The researchers found that people who ate two servings of fruit and three of vegetables each day were least likely to die during the study period compared those who ate fewer servings. And five seems to be the magic number, because additional daily servings of fruits and vegetables didn’t reduce overall or disease-specific death rates any further. The benefit plateaued after people reached five daily servings.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love. Ephesians 3:16-17 NIV

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24 NIV
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NIV
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit? Romans 15:13 NIV

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 NIV

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40 NIV
Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:3 NIV

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 NIV

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