Start ’em Young

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Young adults who load the plate with colorful fruits and vegetables have healthier hearts when they get older, according to a study from the Minneapolis Heart Institute. After taking dietary questionnaires, 2,506 young adults (average age was 25.3 years-old) were divided into three categories based on their fruit and vegetable intakes. After 20 years, CT scans showed that those participants who ate the most produce as young adults (averaging nine servings a day for women and seven servings a day for men) were 26% less likely to have calcified plaque in their arteries compared to those who ate three servings or less. “People shouldn’t assume they can wait until they’re older to eat healthy…our study suggests that what you eat as a young adult may be as important as what you eat as an older adult,” concluded the researchers.
Miedema M, Petrone A, Shikany J, et al: The association of fruit and vegetable consumption during early adulthood with the prevalence of coronary artery calcium after 20 years of follow-up: The CARDIA Study. Circulation 2015; October 26th.

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