In a study that appears in the journal Gut, subjects who ate more than four servings of vegetables daily were 44 percent less likely to develop acute pancreatitis than those who ate less than one serving of vegetables a day. The pancreas, which is located behind the stomach, releases digestive enzymes to break down food. Acute pancreatitis is a potentially life-threatening disease that occurs when those enzymes begin to eat the pancreas itself.
Researchers examined 80,000 adults for 11 years. On average, those surveyed ate almost two servings of fruit a day and about 2.5 servings of vegetables. Overweight people and those who consumed more than one alcoholic drink per day appeared to get the most positive benefit from eating a lot of vegetables.