You want to stay healthy and live longer – but the new call for 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day seems unachievable for most of us.

You want to stay healthy and live longer – but the new call for 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day seems unachievable for most of us.
paulDr Paul Clayton, former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine has the answer. He has just responded to the widely reported University College London study published March 31st in The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The study suggests that to cut the risk of cancer, heart disease and premature death, you need at least seven portions of fruits and vegetables a day – and ideally ten. The American Cancer Society was already advising nine portions of fruit and vegetables a day to help ward off disease.
Says Dr Clayton: “I have been urging more fruits and veggies for years. But we have to be realistic. Most people today struggle to get to even 5-a-day, so my advice is to eat smarter. Focus on the foods and nutrients with the highest health payload. It’s not just the number of portions that is important – it’s what’s in those portions. And it’s not just fruits and vegetables - leading health researchers also recommend up to 4 servings of oily fish a week!
“Just what is it in these foods that makes them so health protective? I answer that question in my e-book ‘Inflamm-ageing’. Fruits, vegetables and oily fish contain valuable anti-inflammatory compounds. These combat “chronic sub-clinical inflammation”, a process which drives nearly all degenerative disease. We need to eat more of the key anti-inflammatory nutrients, and eat less of the pro-inflammatory factors found in so many processed foods.”
‘Chronic’ means continuous and ‘sub-clinical’ means below the normal level of detection. Health scientists class this type of inflammation as a ‘silent danger’. It causes progressive but largely undetectable tissue damage – until that damage finally manifests itself as an age-related disease.
Inflammation is now widely recognised as a – probably the - key driver of declining health as you get older, triggering problems such as heart disease, stroke, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancer. All of these diseases are affected by lifestyle and especially dietary factors.
Fruits and vegetables and Omega 3s from oily fish are anti-inflammatory, but many of the foods we eat today are pro-inflammatory. These include foods cooked at high temperatures, foods cooked in most plant oils, and foods containing excessive sugar, starch and salt. So decreasing pro-inflammatory foods and increasing the anti-inflammatory elements in our diet is the vital health strategy.
The background to this latest science and achievable and realistic tips for beating inflammation is all in Inflamm-ageing. Download it here now.

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