People who eat lots of fresh fruit are far less likely to die from a heart attack or stroke, state researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing. Dietary intakes and disease risk were compared on more than 500,000 adults, ages 30- to 79-years-old who had no history of heart disease at the start of the study. Fewer than one in five ate fruit on a daily basis. During the following seven years, those who ate at least a half cup of fruit a day had a one-third lower risk of dying from heart attack or stroke compared to those who rarely or never ate fruit.
The PREDIMED Research Network in Madrid, Spain found that people who ate nine or more servings daily of fruits and vegetables lowered their risk for heart disease by 40%.
In Perspective: It is difficult to believe so few people eat fresh fruit, such as chin-dribbling watermelon, sweet strawberries, or even a crunchy apple. These are not the first studies to find a protective effect of diets rich in fruit lowering heart disease risk. However, it is a reminder of how easy it is to lower risk if we just make a few simple changes in our eating habits!
Du H, Li L, Bennett D, et al: Fresh fruit consumption and major cardiovascular disease in China. New England Journal of Medicine 2016;374:1332-1343.
Buil-Cosiales P, Toledo E, Salas-Salvado J, et al: Association between dietary fibre intake and fruit, vegetable, or whole grain consumption and the risk of CVD. British Journal of Nutrition 2016; June 6:1-13.