MINNEAPOLIS - People need to eat more fruit and vegetables according to a new study out this week.
The study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health says getting seven or more servings each day will prolong your life. The study also points out that vegetables are better than fruit.
Seven servings is up from the previously recommended five servings per day.
"The study was showing that getting more phytonutrients, fiber and antioxidants from vegetables, which are lower calorie, lower sugar, are more beneficial," said University of Minnesota Medical Center registered dietitian Angela Moeding.
The researchers at University College London said eating seven servings decreases your risk of death from a number of diseases by 42 percent, compared with those eating less than one serving.
Breaking it down, the study said getting seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables reduces risk of death from cancer by 25 percent and death from cardiovascular disease by 31 percent.
Moeding said that portion sizes might be smaller than most people would think, which makes the boost more doable for some.
"A serving of vegetables would be a 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables and about a cup of raw vegetables or two cups of leafy greens," explained Moeding.
She said it's best to get a variety of color on your plate. You can hide vegetables in omelettes, meatloaf and soups and people can eat salads for lunch.
Does Moeding get seven servings of vegetables a day?
"Probably not seven. I try to, but I do sneak a lot into my family's diet, as much as I can. And nobody's perfect, even dietitians," she said.
Moeding said if you are eating one to two servings a day, slowly ramp up your intake to three, four, five and more if possible.
This study also said fresh veggies and fresh and dried fruit are best and that canned fruit may actually increase risk of death.