10-a-day to keep multiple doctors away?

Eating 10 pieces of fruit and veg a day could prevent close to 10 million deaths a year. 10,000,000 is quite a staggering number when you think about it, to put those zero’s into context that’s the population of Sweden.

A meta-analysis (of 95 studies) in the International Journal of Epidemiology has shown that by eating 800g of fresh fruit and veg a day you reduce the risk of many NCDs.(80g equates to one portion).

At 800g (% risk is calculated against not eating ANY fruit and veg):

  • 24% reduced risk of heart disease
  • 33% reduced risk of stroke
  • 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • 13% reduced risk of total cancer
  • 31% reduction of premature death

The studies included in the analysis did not look at more than 800g.

800g could equate to 2 kiwi’s, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1/2 grapefruit, 8 florets of cauliflower, 1 glass of orange juice, 3 spoonfuls of peas, 2 broccoli spears, 1 tomato and 1 banana.

Different fruit and veg have different effects on the reduction of risk but making sure you have a colourful variety is the best advice. Seeing as this is quick and easy evidence to distribute and it enables a person to take control over their own health, surely it is essential patient advice.