September 16, 2011
Science Daily/American Heart Association
Eating apples and pears may help prevent stroke, according to a new study. While high consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with lower stroke risk, a Dutch study found that eating fruit and vegetables with white edible portions was associated with a 52 percent lower stroke risk. Apples and pears were the majority of the white fruits and vegetables consumed in the study.
While previous studies have linked high consumption of fruits and vegetables with lower stroke risk, the researchers' prospective work is the first to examine associations of fruits and vegetable color groups with stroke. The color of the edible portion of fruits and vegetables reflects the presence of beneficial phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids.
Fruits and vegetables were classified in four color groups:
- · Green, including dark leafy vegetables, cabbages and lettuces
- · Orange/Yellow, which were mostly citrus fruits
- · Red/Purple, which were mostly red vegetables
- · White, of which 55 percent were apples and pears
"To prevent stroke, it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetables," said Linda M. Oude Griep, M.Sc., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in human nutrition at Wageningen Uninversity in the Netherlands. "For example, eating one apple a day is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake.
"However, 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."
Apples and pears are high in dietary fiber and a flavonoid called quercetin. In the study, other foods in the white category were bananas, cauliflower, chicory and cucumber.