To live longer, eat 7+ pieces of fresh fruits or vegetables a day, but not canned or frozen.
People who ate at least 7 portions of fruit and vegetables each day were 42% less likely to die from any cause.
It was shown in a recent European study that followed more than 65 thousands participants over 12 years. People with the highest intakes were also 25% less likely to die from cancer and 31% less likely to die from heart disease. Analyzing studies like this, we need to remember that term “vegetables” usually include non-sweet fruits in botanical sense, like tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, squashes, and many others. See Vegetables, Fruits.
But canned and frozen fruit increased the risk of dying by 17%, and fruit juice was found to have no significant benefit.
The lead author of this study, Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode of department of epidemiology and public health in UCL, said:
“The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. My advice would be however much you are eating now, eat more.”
Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, or ascorbate, is an essential nutrient for humans, a water-soluble vitamin. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C, so it is an essential dietary component.
- Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen (an essential component of connective tissue), L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters, it is also involved in protein metabolism.
- Vitamin C is also an important physiological antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E by reducing vitamin E radicals formed when vitamin E scavenges the oxygen radicals.
- Vitamin C plays an important role in immune function and improves the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods.
Approximately 70%–90% of vitamin C is absorbed at moderate intakes of 30–180 mg a day. At doses above 1 g a day, absorption falls to less than 50% and absorbed, unmetabolized ascorbic acid is excreted in the urine.
Insufficient vitamin C intake causes scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue or lassitude, connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility.
Cells accumulate vitamin C. The total body content of vitamin C ranges from 300 mg (at near scurvy) to about 2 g.
- High levels of vitamin C are maintained in cells and tissues, and are highest in leukocytes (white blood cells), eyes, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and brain.
- Relatively low levels of vitamin C are found in extracellular fluids, such as plasma, red blood cells, and saliva.