Originally published September 21 2011
An apple a day slashes stroke risk in half, study finds
by Mary West
(NaturalNews) A new study gives some credence to the old adage, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" -- at least concerning strokes. In a study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, Dutch researchers found that eating apples, pears and other white-fleshed fruits and vegetables might lessen stroke risk by a dramatic 52%: Health Enclave reports. Authors of the investigation considered the findings a little surprising, because recent research has recommended vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables as the most beneficial for health.
In the research, which examined the diets of 20,000 adults over a ten year period, authors investigated the association between the color of consumed fruits and stroke incidence. Participants were required to complete a food frequency questionnaire, which segmented the fleshy part of fruits and vegetables into four color groups: orange/yellow, red/purple, green and white. After comparing the stroke incidence with the diet of the participants, researches found no link with the quantity of brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Conversely, participants who had a daily intake of 171 grams of white-fleshed produce had a stroke incidence 52% lower than those whose daily intake of such foods was less than 75 grams. White-fleshed produce includes apples, pears, bananas, cauliflower and cucumbers, and the quantity of 171 grams correlates to one medium-to-large apple.
Although it is unclear why white-fleshed produce dramatically reduced stroke risk, scientists made some postulations. The fiber found in apples and pears is beneficial for cardiovascular health. Additionally, apples and pears have a high content of a flavonoid called quercetin, which studies have shown to reduce inflammation. This anti-inflammatory benefit could be a significant contributing factor, since inflammation is associated with hardening of the arteries.
Upon evaluating the results of the investigation, author Linda M. Oude Greip provided some recommendations. She cautioned that the findings need to be confirmed by further research; however, she stated it might be beneficial to eat plenty of white produce, and eating one apple a day is an easy method of increasing the intake of these healthful foods. On the other hand, Oude Greip emphatically advised the public to consume brightly colored fruits and vegetables as well, since they are protective against other chronic ailments.
It should be emphasized that the phytochemicals found in vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables have been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, along with a benefit to heart health. Jessica Shapiro, a wellness dietitian in New York City, adds her voice to Oude Greip's recommendation of continuing to include brightly colored produce in the diet: USA Today notes. Shapiro points out that the rainbow of fruits and vegetables contribute nutrients that work synergistically with each other.
About the authorMary West is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You may visit her website to learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com.
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