It’s spring and fresh fruit is finally coming in season in the Northern Hemisphere. Not only will the fruit be tastier, but it will be less expensive, too, and that’s particularly good news, given that a new study finds that eating fresh fruit most days of the week lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The findings come from a seven-year study of 500,000 Chinese adults, a group of people who don’t eat as much fruit as we do in the United States. Their health was tracked through death records and electronic hospital records, and included only those with no history of cardiovascular disease or treatment for hypertension when they joined the study.
Fruit consumption in China consists primarily of apples or oranges. Even after the researchers allowed for factors associated with eating fruit, like education, lower blood glucose, lower blood pressure and not smoking, eating a 3.5 ounce serving of fruit a day was still associated with about a third fewer deaths from cardiovascular diseases regardless of gender or the area of China in which people resided.
How much fruit does it take to get to you to a 3.5 ounce serving? Imagine a piece the size of a baseball or measure a half-cup of chopped fruit. It’s really not that hard to swallow.
The many antioxidants in fruit protect the body from oxidative stress, which can lead to diseases, and they also boost the immune system. Different colored fruits offer different assortments of protective antioxidants and phyto-nutrients, so eating a variety is key to getting the most benefit from eating fruit.
How much fruit do you need to eat to reach a 3.5 ounce serving? Imagine a piece the size of a baseball or measure a half-cup of chopped fruit. It’s really not that hard to swallow.
The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.