Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How fruit can naturally reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease


An apple a day can help keep cardiovascular disease (CVD) away. In fact, a seven year study out of China indicates that you can cut your risk of CVD by up to 40% by eating a piece of fruit every single day, and the more you eat the more you can reduce your disk of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease (stroke and ischemic heart disease) is the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. Compared to the United States where ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of CVD death, stroke is the leading CVD cause of death in China.

The Study

The seven year study looked at half a million participants in the China Kadoorie Biobank who had no history of CVD. Over the 7 years of the study, it was found that 18% of the participants ate fruit daily while 6.3% never ate fruit (the average portion a day was 1.5 or 150grams). Compared to the people who never consumed fruit, people who ate fruit daily had significantly lower blood pressure and decreased risk of CVD by 25-40%.

In a separate analysis, the team found that those that ate fruit daily compared to those that never consumed fruit reduced their overall risk of death by 32%. Dr. Huaidong Du from Oxford, UK explained, "Our data clearly shows that eating fresh fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including ischaemic heart disease and stroke (particularly haemorrhagic stroke). And not only that, the more fruit you eat the more your CVD risk goes down. It does suggest that eating more fruit is beneficial compared to less or no fruit."

Preventing CVD

Along with reducing the amount of hydrogenated fats and sugars you consume and increasing your omega-3 fatty acid consumption, fruit has been previously implicated in helping to prevent CVD. In a 2009 study it was found that eating 2-3 kiwi fruits a day can help significantly reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol while raising HDL, also known as "good" cholesterol. The researchers believed this was due to its very high antioxidant concentration.

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