Vegetables may be beneficial for one’s health, but consuming a plentiful amount does not lessen the risk of a heart attack or stroke, a study from the universities of Oxford and Bristol and the Chinese University of Hong Kong suggests. People who ate the most vegetables had a 15 percent lower chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who ate the least. However, the researchers suggested this could be explained by other factors. An individual’s overall diet, amount of exercise, job, income, and lifestyle may have a greater impact. As a result, they concluded that their study found no evidence of “a protective effect of vegetable intake” on the frequency of cardiac and circulation issues.

But they stress that a well-balanced diet can help reduce the risk of many illnesses, including some cancers. Health experts, including the National Health Service (NHS), recommend eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Vegetables are high in fiber and minerals―especially if eaten raw―which can help people’s stomachs stay healthy, prevent digestion issues, and lower their risk of colon cancer. According to a study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, those who eat a lot of raw vegetables may have a lower risk of heart disease, as cooking destroys essential nutrients like vitamin C. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are often low in fat and calories.