Happy Earth Day!

To celebrate Earth Day, we invite you to take a fun little quiz to learn more about how eating food grown from the earth, specifically fruits and vegetables, can help you live a healthier life. Just like a tree with deep roots can better weather strong storms, eating more fruits and vegetables can help you weather aging by preventing and delaying the chronic diseases that often come with getting older.

So how deep are your health roots today, based on your fruit and vegetable intake? What kind of tree are you – one with deep roots or shallow ones? Take the quiz to find out!

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The quiz above is based loosely on the CDC’s surveillance of fruit and vegetable intake using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

According to a study published in The Lancet earlier this month, poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other health risk globally, even smoking. The study evaluated dietary risk factors for non-communicable diseases (for example cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes) across 195 countries. The researchers found that the leading dietary risk factors for mortality include diets low in fruit and diets low in vegetables, as well as diets low in whole grains, low in nuts and seeds, low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and high in sodium. Each of these dietary risk factors account for more than 2% of global deaths.

You can equate aging to a storm because, like a storm, aging comes for everyone at the same rate and speed. Many of the chronic diseases we’ve come to know as separate health issues – heart disease, metabolic dysfunction, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases – are actually all very closely connected to aging.

But a storm has different effects on different structures, whether houses or trees. Some trees, for example, are famous for toppling over easily during storms and high winds. The tulip poplar is one of these trees – you might be nervous if one of these trees towers close to your home. But other trees have stood for hundreds to thousands of years, weathering one big storm after another. Deep, vast and interconnected root systems protect these trees from the elements.

Like a storm, aging has different effects on different people depending on their existing health and protective health behaviors – their “health roots!” Meeting national guidelines for daily intake of fruits and vegetables is one of these health roots. Eating at least 2 cups or fruit per day and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day can reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseasecancer and type II diabetes, all diseases associated with biological aging. Fruits and vegetables also contain fiber that helps you feel full, lowers your cholesterol, can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and is great for your gut (fiber feeds your “good” gut microbes).

So are you ready to put down deeper health roots? Sign up for our LIFE Extend app to earn LIFE points for tracking your fruit and vegetable intake, getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness, exercising and intermittent fasting!

Start today with intermittent fasting for metabolic health and healthspan – download the LIFE Fasting Tracker app.