(NaturalNews) A new study coming from the Netherlands and published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association reveals that consuming large quantities of white pulp fruits and vegetables can significantly lower the risk of stroke.
Over the years, numerous studies linking high fruit and vegetable consumption to a decreased risk of stroke and other cardiovascular incidents have been conducted. The contribution of the Dutch study is that now, for the first time, we have established a positive correlation between different food colorings and their impact on stroke incidence. This means that pigments play a crucial role in determining the healthfulness of a fruit. The coloring of the pulp is a good indicator for the presence of carotenoids and flavonoids - which are phytochemicals that have been linked to numerous health benefits, including anti-cancer and anti-mutagenic effects.
The vast, population-based study spanned 10 years and looked at the health development of over 20 thousand adults, with the average age of 41. At the start of the study, all participants were free of cardiovascular disease and had completed a 178-item food frequency questionnaire concerning their eating habits for the previous year. Four color groups were established for fruits and vegetables:
1. green - which includes dark leafy vegetables 2. orange/yellow - including citrus fruits, apricots, carrots 3. red/purple - consisting mostly of red vegetables, such as tomatoes and watermelon, but also prunes and blueberries 4. white - of which more than a half were apples and pears
Correlation between white pulp fruits and decreased stroke risk
During the 10 years that followed, 233 strokes occurred in the documented population. While no definite relation between stroke incidence and color could be established for green, red and yellow/orange fruits and vegetables, a definite correlation emerged between white pulp fruits and a decreased stroke risk. Individuals who had a high intake of white fruits also had a 52% lower incidence of stroke. In fact, the Dutch scientists were able to determine a fairly accurate relation: each 25 grams of white fruits consumed per day lowers the risk of stroke by 9%. The average apple and pear weigh approximately 125 grams. Lead study author, Linda M. Oude Griep, M.Sc. explained: "[T]o prevent stroke, it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetable. Eating one apple a day is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake."
The flavonoid found in white fruits and vegetables, and responsible for lowering the risk of stroke, is called quercetin, and it appears to play a key role in our overall health. Quercetin is believed to boost metabolic rate, reduce blood pressure and fight cancer, and it may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Fortunately, the U.S. federal dietary guidelines now also include color among the criteria for establishing the nutritional values of food items.
Researcher Oude Griep added that further tests are to be conducted in order to fully confirm her team's findings. "Other fruits and vegetable color groups may protect against other chronic diseases. Therefore, it remains of importance to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables," she concluded.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.