Experts recommend that adults aim for five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Getting the recommended serving can help maintain a healthy weight and improve cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.
In fact, eating more fruits and vegetables has been shown to extend life expectancy. A Swedish study completed in 2013 found that people who ate at least three servings of vegetables lived two and a half years longer than those who reporting eating little to no fruits and vegetables.
For individuals who are chronically ill, fruits and vegetables can also have a big impact on health and financial well-being. A recent study by the American Heart Association found that individuals living with chronic kidney disease who received an additional three to four servings of fruit and vegetables each day had lower blood pressure and reported spending 50% less on blood pressure medication than other groups in the study.
At Project Angel Heart, our meals have a similar impact. Many of our clients living with cancer, kidney/heart/lung disease, HIV/AIDS, and other serious illnesses tell us they didn’t eat vegetables before receiving our meals, or weren’t able to shop for or afford produce. However, when they receive our healthy, medically tailored meals- which include three to four servings of vegetables each- their health outcomes improve, and 93% report improved ability to afford their healthcare.
So how do you know if you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet to reap the benefits? Click here to find out what counts as a serving.
Bellavia A, Larsson SC, Bottai M, Wolk A, Orsini N. “Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause mortality: a dose-response analysis.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun 26.
Eating more fruits and vegetables cut kidney patient’s medicine expense in half. Available at: http://m.newsroom.heart.org/news/eating-more-fruits-and-vegetables-cut-kidney-patients-medicine-expense-in-half. Published September 14, 2016. Accessed October 7, 2016