We’ve all been told to eat our fruits and veggies. “They’re good for you!” Hopefully you’ve been doing as you’re told, because it could very well mean you’ll be living longer than those who haven’t been getting their “five a day.”

The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, using data collected for thirteen years on more than 71,000 Swedes, ages 45 to 83. Nearly 11,500 of them were dead by the end of the survey period. In 1997 and 1998, patients took a survey reporting on how often they ate fruit and vegetables. Not just raw ones either; dishes like pea soup also counted.

Based on this data, the researchers calculated that those who admitted to eating no fruit or veggies at the study’s start were 53 percent more likely to die than those who ate the recommended number of servings. Those who ate at least one serving of fruit a day lived an average of 19 months longer than those who never ate fruit. Even better, eating at least three servings of vegetables a day seems to have added an average of 32 months longer than those who did not eat vegetables.

Other factors were involved, which makes this study a helpful reminder to eat healthy, but not an ironclad guarantee that eating your fruits and veggies will help you live 32 months longer. Many of those who did not eat veggies were also increasing their likelihood of death through smoking, eating more red meat and high fat dairy products as well as sweets and snacking more frequently.
Oddly, fruit-and-veggie eaters tended to have a larger caloric intake, but this might because fruit has a relatively high count.

The study also found that eating more than five servings of fruits and veggies a day does not have any additional health benefits, so there’s no reason to go overboard!

Read the entire article here: Eating fruits and vegetables tied to longer life