Five servings a day keeps the doctor away–or so they say. It has been a pretty common fact that eating five services of vegetables and fruits a day (in total) is a great goal for adults to achieve for a healthier life. Studies still prove this to be true, but we were curious to know if there is an exact ratio within these five servings as to how many should be fruits and how many should be vegetables… what is this optimal fruit versus vegetable ratio?
Well, we weren’t the only ones that were wondering. A study lead by Dong D. Wang, M.D., Sc.D., a public health researcher and nutritionist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, researched data from 28 global studies worldwide. The data suggested that eating our suggested five servings a day of fruits and vegetables still holds up and is associated with the lowest risk of mortality overall. BUT the greatest longevity was found in the five servings broken down into two daily servings of fruit and three daily servings of vegetables.
The study also went a bit deeper and found which vegetables might a little better than other. It is probably no surprise here but foods like green leafy vegetables and fruits rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C were found to show longevity benefits more clearly than other vegetables. Specific examples include: spinach, lettuce, kale, carrots, citrus fruits, and berries.
Optimal Ratio Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie
We are big fans of smoothies over juices because you still ingest the fiber in a smoothie, whereas in a fruit you do not. Not having the fiber can spike your blood sugar.
- 1 handful of kale
- 2 small handfuls of spinach
- 1/2 cup berries
- 3 TBS flax seeds
- 3 TBS chia seeds
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 TBS honey, optional
Throw everything into a blender and then blend until smooth.