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An apple a day...

Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

Simply eating one item of fruit a day may be responsible for cutting the risk of heart disease and stroke by 40%, researchers reported yesterday.

The findings come from a study in China, where growing wealth means big differences in the amount of fruit people ate.

The findings were unveiled at the conference of the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona, Spain.

Researchers studied more than 451,000 people in ten different parts of the country, half rural and half urban.

They found that 6.3% of people never ate fruit and just 18% had a daily portion of fruit. There was a 40% difference in the risk of heart disease and stroke between the two groups.

Those who ate the most fruit also had the lowest blood pressure.

The analysis was conducted by Dr Huaidong Du, from Oxford University, UK, said: "Our data clearly shows that eating fresh fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including ischaemic heart disease and stroke (particularly haemorrhagic stroke). And not only that, the more fruit you eat the more your CVD risk goes down.

"It does suggest that eating more fruit is beneficial compared to less or no fruit."

Tracy Parker, of the British Heart Foundation - which helped fund the research, said: “This study adds to the growing body of evidence that shows the more fruit and vegetables we eat the better our heart health. Even eating just one more portion a day helped lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, which should give us all that extra incentive.

"This research only looked at the benefits of fresh fruit, but if you’re struggling to meet your five a day, remember fresh, frozen, dried or tinned in juice all count.

"Try adding fresh fruit to your cereal, keeping an apple in your bag for a snack on the go, or having tinned fruit in juice for dessert for quick and easy ways to up your intake.”

Tags: Asia | Diet & Food | Europe | Heart Health | UK News

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