The White Fruits and Vegetables ...

September 22, 2011

A Dutch study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating fruits and vegetables with white flesh may protect against stroke. Researchers studied the nutritional intake of 20,069 people with an average age of 41 over a year with a focus on links between fruit and vegetable color groups and the incidence of strokes. Participants in the study had no previous diagnosed heart disease or stroke at the beginning of the research. Many studies have linked high consumption of fruits and vegetables with lower risk of stroke, this is the first to concentrate on the color groups of fruits and vegetables in conjunction with stroke.  The color of the edible portion of fruits and vegetables indicates the presence of beneficial phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids. During 10 years of follow-up, 233 strokes were documented. Consumption of green, yellow and red fruits and vegetables were not found to be related to stroke. However, the risk of stroke incidence was 52 percent lower for people with a high intake of white fruits and vegetables than for people with a low intake. Each 25 gram per day increase in white fruits and vegetable consumption meant a 9 percent lower risk of stroke. An average size apple is 120 grams. White fruits and vegetables are colored by pigments called "anthoxanthins" and contain health-promoting chemicals such as allicin, which helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may reduce the risks of stomach cancer and heart disease. Foods included in the white category for this study were apples, pears, bananas, cauliflower, chicory and cucumber. There are plenty of other options to include in your diet such as garlic, onions, jicama, and mushrooms. It is important to note that potatoes are considered a starch and are not included in the white vegetable group. Other fruits and vegetable color groups protect against different chronic diseases, so enjoy a full 'palette' of colors as part of your healthy daily diet!

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