If you’re not already eating an apple a day, it might be time to start, according to new research. A study finds eating more fruit and vegetables every day can boost physical fitness as much as taking 4-thousand extra steps every day.
Harvard researchers measured oxygen levels of the 2,380 participants with an average age of 54 while they ran on a treadmill and had them fill out a food frequency questionnaire to see how many of 126 different foods they’ve eaten over the last year. Those with higher quality diets eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and healthy fats, and less red meat and alcohol, like the Mediterranean diet. And people who followed those healthier diets were found to have better physical fitness.
“This study provides some of the strongest and most rigorous data thus far to support the connection that better diets may lead to higher fitness,” explains lead study author Dr. Michael Mi. “The improvement in fitness we observed in participants with better diets was similar to the effect of taking 4-thousand more steps each day.”