We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us, but did you know that recent research shows that they can actually help reduce the risk of dying prematurely? Does it sound too good to be true? Let's take a closer look at what the research says.

As you probably already know, fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. But did you know that the beautiful colours of vegetables come from protective substances called antioxidants? In other words, eating colourful food is good for your health!

3 reasons to eat more fruit and vegetables

1. Fruit and vegetables keep you healthy

Recent research shows that fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of several different diseases1. So, how much is needed to stay healthy? Everything seems to be better than nothing. A study conducted in London shows that even smaller amounts of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of suffering from diseases such as stroke, cancer and heart and vascular disease.1.

2. Fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of dying prematurely

Researchers estimate that 7.8 million deaths could be prevented if we started eating 10 vegetables and fruits (800 g) a day. This relatively large amount helps lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. In addition, the same study shows that some fruits and vegetables can reduce damage to our DNA and reduce the risk of cancer1.

3. Eating fruit and vegetables will make you happier

Yes, you read right! A lot of research indicates that you will be happier if you eat fruits and vegetables. Scientists in England have seen a clear connection between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental well-being. According to the study, people who consumed the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables (500 g) each day felt significantly better than those who consumed too little2!

How to get enough fruit and vegetables

It’s recommended that we eat 500 g of fruit and vegetables every day3. However, most people, 8 out of 10, do not eat the recommended dose4. Are you one of those struggling to get enough fruit and vegetables? Maybe you wish there was an easier way? Then I think you should take a closer look at the dietary supplement supergreens!

Supergreens are a dietary supplement that makes it easy for you to get all the nutrients from fruits and vegetables! A good example is Fitnessguru’s Green Boost. It is a dietary supplement filled with vegan superfood that contains lots of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. Green Boost by Fitnessguru is a powder that you mix with water or juice. It is also possible to mix Green Boost with protein powder for an even healthier protein shake!

What are super greens and why are they so healthy?

First of all, supergreens are a supplement packed with nutrition from green vegetables. Green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli have proven to be among the most nutritious vegetables21! It doesn't stop there! Generally, the best supergreens supplements also contain the algae chlorella and spirulina. These algae are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition, there are several studies that show that chlorella and spirulina have many health benefits! The two algae act as powerful antioxidants, among other things5 6 and can help strengthen your immune system7 8 9. There are also studies showing that chlorella and spirulina can help improve your cholesterol levels10 11 12 13 14 and keep your blood pressure under control15 16 17. Spirulina has also been shown to improve muscle strength and endurance18 19.

Are there any disadvantages to supergreens?

As you can see, chlorella and spirulina contribute to providing many health benefits to supergreens. It seems that these algae are safe to use for most people. However, there are a few things that may be good to know before you decide to test the popular dietary supplement.

  • A few people feel nausea and get an upset stomach after consuming chlorella20.
  • Supplements may interact with some medications. Not sure what applies to you? Talk to your doctor!
  • The nutritional content of chlorella can vary depending on the type of algae used, how it is grown and how it is produced.

1: Aune, D., Giovannucci, E., Boffetta, P., Fadnes, L., Keum, N., Norat, T., Greenwood, D., Riboli, E., Vatten, L. and Tonstad, S. (2017). Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality—a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 46, Issue 3, June 2017, pp.1029–1056.

2: Stranges, Saverio & Samaraweera, Preshila & Taggart, Frances & Kandala, Ngianga-Bakwin & Stewart-Brown, Sarah. (2014). Major health-related behaviours and mental well-being in the general population: the Health Survey for England. BMJ open. 4. e005878. 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005878.

3: Livsmedelsverket. (u,å). Frukt, grönt och baljväxter. [online] Available at: https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/mat-och-dryck/frukt-gront-och-baljvaxter/.

4: Livsmedelsverket (2017). Bra matvanor räddar liv. [online] Available at: https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/matvanor-halsa--miljo/samtal-om-mat-i-halso--och-sjukvarden/bra-matvanor-raddar-liv/ .

5: Lordan S, Ross RP, Stanton C. Marine Bioactives as Functional Food Ingredients: Potential to Reduce the Incidence of Chronic Diseases. Marine Drugs. 2011; 9(6):1056-1100.

6: Lee, E. H., Park, J. E., Choi, Y. J., Huh, K. B., & Kim, W. Y. (2008). A randomized study to establish the effects of spirulina in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Nutrition research and practice, 2(4), 295–300. doi:10.4162/nrp.2008.2.4.295

7: Otsuki, T., Shimizu, K., Iemitsu, M., & Kono, I. (2011). Salivary secretory immunoglobulin A secretion increases after 4-weeks ingestion of chlorella-derived multicomponent supplement in humans: a randomized cross over study. Nutrition journal, 10, 91. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-91

8: Kwak, J. H., Baek, S. H., Woo, Y., Han, J. K., Kim, B. G., Kim, O. Y., & Lee, J. H. (2012). Beneficial immunostimulatory effect of short-term Chlorella supplementation: enhancement of natural killer cell activity and early inflammatory response (randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial). Nutrition journal, 11, 53. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-53

9: Halperin, S. A., Smith, B., Nolan, C., Shay, J., & Kralovec, J. (2003). Safety and immunoenhancing effect of a Chlorella-derived dietary supplement in healthy adults undergoing influenza vaccination: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne, 169(2), 111–117.

10: Merchant, RE. and Andre, CA. (2001). A review of recent clinical trials of the nutritional supplement Chlorella pyrenoidosa in the treatment of fibromyalgia, hypertension, and ulcerative colitis.. Altern Ther Health Med. May-Jun;7(3):79-91.

11: Ryu, N. H., Lim, Y., Park, J. E., Kim, J., Kim, J. Y., Kwon, S. W., & Kwon, O. (2014). Impact of daily Chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Nutrition journal, 13, 57. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-57

12: Mizoguchi, T., Takehara, I., Masuzawa, T., Saito, T. and Naoki, Y. (2008). Nutrigenomic Studies of Effects of Chlorella on Subjects with High-Risk Factors for Lifestyle-Related Disease. J Med Food. 2008 Sep;11(3):395-404.

13: Ismail, M., Hossain, M. F., Tanu, A. R., & Shekhar, H. U. (2015). Effect of spirulina intervention on oxidative stress, antioxidant status, and lipid profile in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. BioMed research international, 2015, 486120. doi:10.1155/2015/486120

14: Ku, C. S., Yang, Y., Park, Y., & Lee, J. (2013). Health benefits of blue-green algae: prevention of cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Journal of medicinal food, 16(2), 103–111. doi:10.1089/jmf.2012.2468

15: Morio Shimada, Takashi Hasegawa, Chiaki Nishimura, Hiroko Kan, Toshihiro Kanno, Toshio Nakamura & Tsuneo Matsubayashi (2009) Anti-Hypertensive Effect of γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)-Rich Chlorella on High-Normal Blood Pressure and Borderline Hypertension in Placebo-Controlled Double Blind Study, Clinical and Experimental Hypertension, 31:4, 342-354, DOI: 10.1080/10641960902977908

16: Mazokopakis, E.E., Starakis, I.K., Papadomanolaki, M.G., Mavroeidi, N.G. and Ganotakis, E.S. (2014), The hypolipidaemic effects of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) supplementation in a Cretan population: a prospective study. J. Sci. Food Agric., 94: 432-437. doi:10.1002/jsfa.6261

17: Torres-Duran, P. V., Ferreira-Hermosillo, A., & Juarez-Oropeza, M. A. (2007). Antihyperlipemic and antihypertensive effects of Spirulina maxima in an open sample of Mexican population: a preliminary report. Lipids in health and disease, 6, 33. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-6-33

18: KALAFATI, M., JAMURTAS, A., NIKOLAIDIS, M., PASCHALIS, V., THEODOROU, A., SAKELLARIOU, G., KOUTEDAKIS, Y. and KOURETAS, D. (2010). Ergogenic and Antioxidant Effects of Spirulina Supplementation in Humans. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 42(1):142-151, JANUARY 2010.

19: Lu, H., Hsieh, C., Hsu, J., Yang, Y. and Chou, H. (2006). Preventive effects of Spirulina platensis on skeletal muscle damage under exercise-induced oxidative stress. European Journal of Applied Physiology.

20: Halperin, S. A., Smith, B., Nolan, C., Shay, J., & Kralovec, J. (2003). Safety and immunoenhancing effect of a Chlorella-derived dietary supplement in healthy adults undergoing influenza vaccination: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne, 169(2), 111–117.

21: Livsmedelsverket(2018). Tio i topp - näringsrikast av de grönsaker vi äter mest av. [online] Available at: https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/mat-och-dryck/frukt-gront-och-baljvaxter/tio-i-topp-naringsrikast-av-de-gronsaker-vi-ater-mest-av/ .