Five-a-day is something we always teach our children and a campaign known nationwide.

But a new study has shown that 400g of fruit and vegetables a day might not be enough to offer the maximum protection against heart disease, cancer and early death.

The Vegan Society has welcomed the findings that eating more fruit and vegetables a day would save millions of lives.

Scientists discovered that eating 800g of fruit and vegetables daily – double the government’s recommendations – may have large health benefits.

The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, adds to the ever-growing evidence that eating a diet consisting of plant foods is beneficial to public health.

Tom Kuehnel, Campaigns Officer at The Vegan Society, said: “There is a disconnect between what we are told the public should be eating and the food we are producing.

“The government should encourage more farmers to take up fruit, vegetable and other protein crop growing in the UK, and provide support for growers that are producing food for human, as opposed to prioritising animal farming as we currently do.

“We know that there is already more than enough arable land set aside that could be used to feed the population in healthful ways.”

With the world’s population constantly increasing, food and land security are becoming major issues.

Studies indicate that a varied vegan diet requires only about a third of the land needed for conventional Western diets, whereas 3.5 billion humans could live off the food currently fed to farmed animals.

For every 100 calories fed to animals, only 17-30 calories are produced by them in return, wasting agricultural land by obtaining a small fraction of its potential calorific value.

Animal farming is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport in the world combined, and moving towards a plant-based diet would contribute to a healthier UK population.

Grow Green, a report published in 2015 by The Vegan Society, detailed why and how farmers should transition from farming animals to plant protein agriculture.

It has been distributed to hundreds of people and policy-makers who are sympathetic to the proposals. The charity is asking their members and supporters to share the report with their MPs to encourage vegan friendly policy change.

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