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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard Finds Five Daily Servings of Fruits and Veggies Enough for Health Benefit

Eating five daily servings of fruits and vegetables may significantly lower the risk of death, but eating more than that does not appear to provide additional health benefits, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and colleagues.

In a meta-analysis of 16 studies involving more than 833,000 participants, the researchers found that each daily serving of fruits or vegetables was associated with a 5% lower risk of mortality, so that eating five servings a day lowered the risk by 25 percent. But eating more than that didn’t lower the risk further.

Senior author Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, said in a July 29 Philadelphia Inquirer article that it is possible the human body may only be able to process a certain amount of fruits and vegetables each day, so that “the availability of nutrients and other bioactive compounds of these foods may have reached a plateau at five servings per day for most people.” Read more