In fact, it’s nowhere near enough. And even this meagre amount is not attained by the average American, who eats fewer than four servings a day (one serving being about half a cupful) – and we don’t suppose that the average Briton fares much better.
But those of us in the minority who eat more than five servings a day of fruit and vegetables are dramatically reducing our risk of stroke. New findings – pooled from studies carried out in Europe, Japan and the US, and involving more than 257,500 people – reveal that the risk drops by 26 per cent, whereas those who eat only three to five servings a day are reducing their risk by just 11 per cent.
With stroke claiming the lives of an estimated 67,000 people in the UK each year, perhaps it’s time we raised the five-a-day recommendation to 10 (Lancet, 2006; 367: 320-6).