A new study has revealed that eating five pieces of fruit and vegetables per day can provide the same level of physical fitness as walking 4,000 steps. This finding was presented to the scientific world in a recent research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
The Impact of Fruits and Vegetables
In this scientific research, it was found that consuming five pieces of fruit or vegetables provides an energy equivalent to the action of taking 4,000 steps. Given that many people today can’t find enough time for walking or don’t prefer to walk, this information carries significant importance.
Dr. Michael Mi from Harvard University commented on the research: “This study provides the strongest data to date supporting the idea that healthy eating habits can provide a high level of fitness. The increase in fitness observed in well-nourished individuals seems to create an effect equivalent to walking 4,000 steps a day.”
The researchers measured oxygen levels of 2,380 individuals who had similar levels of physical activity and wanted to prove the impact of nutrition on physical fitness while they were running on a treadmill. Participants were also asked to fill out a survey containing 125 different food items they consumed over a year.
Then, nutrition quality was evaluated considering factors such as age, sex, daily energy intake, body mass index, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes, and routine physical activity. Interestingly, it was concluded that participants following a Mediterranean diet had the same level of fitness as those taking approximately 4,000 steps a day.
Dr. Mi stated, “In middle-aged adults, healthy eating habits were strongly and positively correlated with fitness, even after accounting for other activity levels.” Another striking finding of the study was that the link between healthy eating and physical fitness was similar in women and men. However, this effect was more pronounced in individuals under the age of 54.
Mediterranean Diet and Fitness
One of the key findings of the study is that people following the Mediterranean diet have a level of fitness equivalent to those taking about 4,000 steps a day. This finding underscores the direct relationship between nutrition and physical fitness. The Mediterranean diet includes a lot of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, oily fish, and olive oil. These foods, along with proper eating habits, can increase an individual’s overall fitness level.
Nutrition Quality and Physical Fitness
Nutrition quality was evaluated considering factors such as age, gender, daily energy intake, body mass index, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes, and routine physical activity. Healthy and balanced nutrition plays a big role in improving physical fitness, along with these factors. Adequate and balanced nutrition raises the body’s energy level, providing the energy needed for physical activity. This, in turn, raises the overall level of physical fitness.
This scientific research once again puts the significant impact of healthy and balanced nutrition on physical fitness into perspective. It is mentioned that consuming five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day can create the same effect as walking 4,000 steps a day. This finding carries great significance, especially for people who cannot find enough time to walk or do not prefer to walk. Healthy and balanced nutrition plays an important role in both improving physical fitness and enhancing overall health. Each of us has the potential to adopt this healthy lifestyle and lead a more fit and healthier life.