Islamabad: New research provides further evidence of the health benefits of fruit consumption, after finding that eating fresh fruits daily may lower the risks of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.
Eating fresh fruit every day can benefit heart health.
Dr. Huaidong Du, of the University of Oxford in the UK, and colleagues recently published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Under the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that adults who get less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily consume 1.5-2 cups of fruits each day, based on evidence that including fruits as part of a healthy diet reduces the risk of some chronic diseases.
However, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year found that only 13.1% of adults in the US are consuming enough fruits.
Now, Dr. Du and colleagues further highlight the benefit of fruit intake, revealing how a daily intake of fresh fruits could reduce the risks of heart attack and stroke.
The researchers note that previous studies have already identified a link between high fruit intake and lower risk of cardiovascular disease in Western populations.
Medical News Today reported on a study last year, for example, that found – in a US population – eating more fruits and vegetables in young adulthood may protect heart health in later life.
However, Dr. Du and colleagues say little is known about whether high fruit intake benefits heart health in China, where fruit consumption is lower than many other countries, including the UK and US.
To find out, the team enrolled 512,891 adults aged 30-79 from 10 urban and rural regions across China, who had no previous history of cardiovascular disease or use of anti-hypertensive medication.
Participants were required to report their daily fruit consumption, including what fruits they ate and how much. Their health was tracked for an average of 7 years using electronic hospital records and death records.
Compared with participants who never or rarely consumed fresh fruits, those who ate fresh fruits daily had lower blood pressure and glucose levels, as well as lower risks for heart attack and stroke.
After accounting for lower blood pressure, lower glucose levels and other factors, including education and not smoking, the team found that participants who consumed around 100 g of fresh fruits daily were also a third less likely to die from cardiovascular causes, compared with those who never or rarely ate fresh fruits.
Fruit intake among subjects primarily consisted of apples and oranges, and the findings were consistent across men and women.