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WE all know the importance of eating your five a day - but it's not always that simple.
Now experts say even in middle age it's possible to undo the damage of an unhealthy lifestyle and lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Scientists have found that boosting your intake of high-quality plant-based foods over time can prolong your life - even among those who started off with bad diets.
The study is the first time researchers have looked at how positive or negative changes in diet may influence a person's risk of early death, regardless of previous eating habits.
Volunteers included 47,893 women and 25,737 men, with an average age of 64, and no previous history of heart disease or cancer.
They were assessed on changes in their diet over the 12 years prior to entering the study in 1998 and then followed up again 12 years later.
Scientists found that deaths were 10 per cent lower in those who had the biggest increase in a healthy plant-based diet.