Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How Much Fruit And Vegetables To Prevent Heart Disease?

Being the leading cause of death in the United States and around the world, heart disease is responsible for more than 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States, as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fruit and vegetables have a protective effect against disease as they contained antioxidants that repair damage to cells. Hence, they play an important role in preventing heart disease, stroke and many other diseases. While the average intake of fruit and vegetables in the various countries was 5 servings a day, the amount of servings that one should consume each day is often and still a tropic of controversy.

A study published in 2011 argued that 8 servings of fruit and vegetables might be required to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease. One serving counted as 80 grams that include, say, a small banana, a medium apple, or a small carrot.

Researchers at the University of Oxford in England, who looked at the data on more than 300,000 people across 8 countries in Europe, reported that people who ate at least 8 servings of fruit and vegetables a day had a 22 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who ate only 3 servings a day. Each additional serving in fruits and vegetables was linked to a 4 percent lower risk of death. They, however, stressed that they could not confirm whether the link between fruit and vegetables and heart disease is causal.

In April 2014, researchers from the University College London (UCL) studies 65,226 men and women and argued that eating 7 or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day is healthier than the minimum 5 currently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and would cut their risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. Risk of death by any cause over the period of study (2001-2008) was lowered by 42 percent for 7 or more servings of fruit and vegetables (up to 10 servings a day).

Recently, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported on July 29, 2014 in thebmj.com that people need only to eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day after reviewing 16 studies involving more than 830,000 people. Every serving of fruit consumed a day could lower the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease by 5 percent, and every vegetable serving consumed a day could cut the risk by 4 percent. The standard serving was defined as 77 grams for vegetables and 80 grams for fruit. 

The average risk of death from all causes was cut by about 5 percent for each additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables compared with eating none. But once a person ate 5 servings, eating more did not lower the risk any more. 

Nevertheless, people should not forget that besides healthy eating, they should also adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors like not smoking, not having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol and overweight.

1 comment:

  1. Heart problems are one of the leading causes of death in the world and many people have a heart attack as the first sign that they may be having a problem. In most cases there are other signs that come prior to the actual heart attack but many people don’t see the signs and leave them alone, not realizing the severity of what is to follow. Your own article is very informative and I want to pay homage on this efforts to aware the people to Prevent heart attack which is common and deadly disease.