Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduced by 40 Percent with Daily Fruit Consumption

fruit salad

A comprehensive seven-year study has found that eating fruit on a daily basis decreases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by an astounding 40 percent.

Presented at the recent European Society of Cardiology meeting held in Barcelona, Dr. Huaidong Du from Oxford University presented the study’s findings. It’s one of the first studies to isolate the benefits of fruit on reducing the risks for cardiovascular disease, rather than including vegetables in the research as well.

“Our data clearly shows that eating fresh fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke … And not only that, the more fruit you eat the more your CVD risk goes down,” said Dr. Du. “It does suggest that eating more fruit is beneficial compared to less or no fruit.”

The study looked at more than 450,000 participants with no history of cardiovascular disease. The subjects’ fruit consumption habits were categorized as: never, monthly, 1-3 days per week, 4-6 days per week, or daily.

The researchers noted that overall, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease was decreased by 25 to 40 percent for the group who ate fruit on a daily basis. The study also noted a decrease in blood pressure for the daily fruit eaters by as much as 3.4 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and a 4.1 mmHg lower diastolic blood pressure compared with the non-fruit eaters.

This isn’t the first study to connect fruit consumption with improved health benefits. According to TIME magazine, One study of about 110,000 men and women over 14 years “found that people who eat fruit and vegetables every day had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease,” and, the magazine notes, “some studies have found that citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits have especially protective benefits.”

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Image: Nicholas Watts