In a new study out of Imperial College London published in the International Journal of Epidemiology,  Researchers  calculated that if the majority of people worldwide ate meals consisting of fruits and vegetables, 10 portions a day to be exact NOT the five portions that have been recommended in the past, we could avoid 7.8 million premature deaths.  Data for the study was obtained from 95 separate studies that included two million people.

Consuming ten portions a day was associated with a 24 per cent reduced risk of heart disease, a 28 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 33 per cent lower risk of stroke,  a 13 per cent reduced risk of cancer, and a 31 per cent reduction in the risk of dying prematurely.

Smaller intakes of fruits and vegetables also had benefits :  a daily intake of two-and-a-half portions was associated with a 16 per cent reduced risk of heart disease, a four per cent lower risk of cancer and a 15 per cent reduction in the risk of premature death

Additionally, the study highlights those fruits and vegetables that reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease leading to longer healthier lives:

Researchers found that 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 may help protect against heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and early death.

Your Cancer risk could be reduced by eating green vegetables, such as spinach or green beans, yellow vegetables, such as peppers and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables

Dr. Dagfinn Aune, one of the lead researchers of the study said: "Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system. This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold. For instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.”

So how do you get more fruits and veggies into your and your family’s diet?  Here are a few tips:

  •   Puree vegetables into your soup, making it thicker  and tastier in the process
  •   Marinate your vegetables with sauces that you love and then stir fry them: SCD barbeque, lemon and olive oil, so many choices!
  •  Slather apples, bananas, pears any fruit really or celery with a good quality almond butter and honey
  •   Dehydrate some kale in the oven after drizzling them with olive oil and salt
  •   Try out veggie noodles made of zucchini, spaghetti squash or eggplant in the place of pasta
  •   Make a green smoothie.  In a blender mix 60% whole fruits and 40% green leafy veggies with water and some ice cubes. YUM!
  •   Make a veggie dessert:  Try chocolate avocado pudding

The SCD not only helps you manage IBD, but by eating more fruits and vegetables you improve your overall health. With that being said, it is important to remember that large amounts of fruits and vegetable in the diet can cause bloating and increase stooling for some. Everybody is different, if you are experiencing symptoms it may be worthwhile talking with your healthcare provider/dietician.