4 Healthy Habits

New research published in the January, 2008, issue of the journal of the Public Library of Science shows that people who drink moderately, exercise, quit smoking and eat five servings of fruit and vegetables each day live, on average, 14 years longer than people who do not practice these lifestyle habits.   

British researchers followed 20,000 healthy British men and women ages 45 to 79 from 1993 to 2006.  Each participant was assigned a “health score” receiving one point for each healthy habit.  Those who practiced none got a health score of zero; those who practiced all of them got a health score of four.  The researchers also tested each participant's blood to measure vitamin C intake, an indicator of how much fruit and vegetables they were eating.

After adjusting for age and other factors that could affect one’s chances of dying, the researchers found that people with a health score of zero were four times more likely to have died during the course of the study, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

The researches noted that a person with a health score of zero had the same risk of dying as someone with a health score of four who was 14 years older. The lifestyle changes offering the most health benefits were not smoking and eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. 

In our fast paced society, it can be difficult to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day – but that’s where whole food nutrition can help.