Most people recall "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" as the timeless rhyme to get us to eat healthier snacks. But fresh fruits and vegetables really can help older women live longer, according to a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study that tracked more than 700 septuagenarian women for five years.
Fruit and vegetables contain high amounts of antioxidant-forming carotenoids, a substance that can be measured in the bloodstream. In the study, those who had the highest level of carotenoids also had the highest survival rates.
“The women who were most physically active and had the highest fruit and vegetable consumption were eight times more likely to survive the five-year follow-up period than the women with the lowest rates,” the study found.
The women in the study group who had the highest predicted survival rate were those who had been avid exercisers before the study began and who remained so during the study period.