Image courtesy of Runner’s World

Getting five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day is a common recommendation, but that advice usually centers on how having this habit can help you avoid disease, not death. A new study (link is PDF) published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a preference for produce might mean not only healthier years, but more years.

The study evaluated the effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on survival and all-cause mortality among 71,706 people who took part in either the Cohort of Swedish Men or the Swedish Mammography Cohort. During the 13-year follow-up, 11,439 people died. Compared to people who ate five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, those who ate progressively fewer serving had progressively shorter survival and progressively higher mortality.

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Compared to people who ate five servings per day, those who did not eat any fruits and vegetables (?!) lived three years shorter and had a 53% higher mortality rate.

For fruit consumption alone, people who never ate fruit lived 19 months shorter than people who ate a single serving of fruit per day.

Compared to people who ate up to three servings of vegetables per day, those who ate no vegetables lived 32 months shorter.

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