A major study tracking the eating habits of 478,000 Europeans suggests that consuming lots of fruits and vegetables has little if any effect on preventing cancer.
The study, published in the current issue of The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is the latest in a series of studies to debunk the potential of vegetables for lowering cancer risk, but the results don’t mean you should push those greens off your plate.
A number of studies show that high vegetable consumption is associated with lower risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition, there is still some evidence that certain vegetables contain potent, cancer-fighting compounds.
And the latest study also suggested a potentially higher anti-cancer benefit of eating vegetables for people who regularly drink alcohol.
Most important is the fact that a large body of evidence shows that increasing vegetable consumption is good for your heart.
In 2004, Harvard researchers reported on data collected from more than 100,000 nurses and doctors. Although the study showed no link between cancer risk and vegetable consumption, eating five or more fruit and vegetable servings daily was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of heart disease or stroke compared to those who ate less than 1.5 servings a day.
In 1997, a randomized trial of 500 adults showed that increasing fruit and vegetable intake lowered blood pressure compared with study subjects who ate a typical American diet that is high in fat and low in vegetables.