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Stroke Health Center

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Apples, Pears May Reduce Stroke Risk

Study Shows Fruits, Veggies With White Flesh May Be Best at Fighting Stroke Risk
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Sept. 15, 2011 -- Eating lots of white-fleshed fruit such as apples and pears may significantly reduce the risk of stroke.

In a new study, Dutch researchers set out to determine a possible link between stroke risk and eating fruits and vegetables of various colors. They took a look at self-reported information from 20,069 people between ages 20 and 65 of what they ate over a one-year period.

All of the people had no previous diagnosed heart disease or stroke at the start of the study.

During the 10 years of follow-up, 233 people had strokes. The researchers say the risk of stroke was 52% lower for people who ate a lot of white-fleshed fruits and vegetables, compared to those who didn’t.


Every Little Bit Helps

The researchers found that each 25-gram daily increase of white fruits and vegetables was associated with a 9% lower risk of stroke. To put that in context, a single apple is about 120 grams.

“To prevent stroke, it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetables,” Linda M. Oude Griep, MSc, of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, says in a news release.

She says an apple a day “is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake,” but  because other fruits and vegetable color groups also protect against chronic diseases, it’s important to eat a lot of different fruits and vegetables.

Foods in the white category also include bananas, cauliflower, chicory, and cucumbers. Potatoes were classified as a starch.

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