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In order to prepare for the lead role in the 2013 biopic "Jobs," Ashton Kutcher opted for a fruitarian diet. Guess he wanted to get inside the insides of Steve Jobs, a sometimes fruit-centered eccentric. It landed Kutcher in the hospital with serious pancreas problems. (Jobs died of pancreatic cancer.) Clearly, it's possible to have too much of a good thing.

That's not the problem for most Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most folks eat far too few fruits — or vegetables. Only 12% of you eat 1.5-2 cups of fruit daily (the minimum recommendation for basic survival!), and only 9% consume the minimum of 2-3 cups of veggies a day.

The consequences are more serious than Ashton's temporary meltdown: According to a paper presented at Nutrition 2019, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, as many as one in seven cardiovascular deaths worldwide may be related to not eating enough fruit, and one in 12 deaths could be from insufficient vegetable intake.

Fiber, vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients in fruits and veggies help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and a hearty diet of fruits and veggies is associated with a 31% reduction in premature death and a lower cancer risk. So amp up your intake with, for example, a small apple, 32 seedless grapes or eight large strawberries and three long spears of broccoli, two medium carrots, one large tomato or one baked sweet potato over the course of your day.

 

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.

 

(c)2019 Michael Roizen, M.D.

and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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