Three-a-day veg is ample, says research
Forget the five-a-day mantra - three to four servings of fruit, vegetables and beans are enough to reduce the risk of dying prematurely, say scientists.
Global guidelines recommend eating at least 400g of fruit, vegetables or legumes a day, equivalent to five average servings.
But new findings from an international study show that in terms of life expectancy, there is no extra benefit in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption from four to five a day.
Lead researcher Victoria Miller, from McMaster University in Canada, said: "Our findings suggest an approach that is likely to be more affordable in lower and middle-income countries - that three to four servings of fruit, vegetables and legumes per day show a similar benefit in reducing the risk of death to 'five-a-day' guidance."
Compared with eating cooked vegetables, consumption of raw vegetables tended to lower the risk of both heart disease and death.