“Eat more fruits and vegetables” is timeless advice that has the backing of a large body of evidence. Vegetables and fruits provide fiber, slowly digested carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and numerous phytonutrients that have been associated with protection against cardiovascular disease, aging-related vision loss due to cataract and macular degeneration, and maintenance of bowel function. The connection between vegetables and fruits and cancer is less well established. Although they do not have a blanket anticancer effect, fruits and vegetables may work against specific cancers, including esophageal, stomach, lung, and colorectal cancer.
Fruits and vegetables should be consumed in abundance, which means a minimum of five servings a day—and more is better. As few as 1 in 4 persons in the United States meet this guideline.
Patrick J. Skerrett, MA, Walter C. Willett