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Why Former And Current Smokers Should Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

To all former and current smokers: Fruits and vegetables may be your ticket to living a longer life. 

new study tracked more than 44,000 Swedish men and their rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. 

COPD is usually caused by smoking and encompasses lung diseases that make it hard to breathe. Experts predict it'll soon be the world's third-leading cause of death.

The study found current and former smokers who ate five servings of fruits and vegetables a day were less than half as likely to develop COPD than those who only ate two servings.

What's more, each additional serving lowered the risk of COPD between 4 and 8 percent. 

SEE MORE: You Should Be Eating Way More Fruits And Veggies Than You Think

But not all produce is equal in this case. Focusing on fruits and vegetables with antioxidants –– like apples, peppers and leafy greens –– is the key.

The researchers note their study is correlational, and smokers shouldn't completely count on fruits and vegetables to prevent the disease. Quitting smoking should still be the first priority. 

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