If you thought the five-a-day fruit and vegetable advice was unrealistic, think again.
Although fewer than one in three UK adults manage to meet the recommended target, scientists at Imperial College London now say the greatest benefits come from eating 800g of fruit and veg per day, roughly the equivalent of 10 portions.
Five portions of fruit and vegetables is good, but 10 a day is even better for heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death prevention says the team. They estimate that approximately 7.8m premature deaths worldwide could be prevented every year if people ate more than the current guidelines.
But don’t be discouraged; even a daily intake of 200g can do you a world of good. Eating two-and-a-half portions can reduce the risk of heart disease by 16 per cent, cut the risk of stroke by 18 per cent, and lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13 per cent – so it's not all bad.
If you’re looking to avoid specific diseases, researchers also examined the types of fruit and vegetables that may give you a helping hand:
To prevent stroke and cardiovascular disease you will need to stock up on apples and pears, citrus fruits, salads and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chicory, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower – if you can remember all that.
Those wanting to reduce cancer risk need lots of green vegetables, such as spinach or green beans, yellow vegetables, such as peppers and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables.