There’s the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. A new study has proven this statement to be true! This study, conducted by Dutch researchers, followed men and women over the course of 10 years to find an association with fruit consumption and risk of stroke.

The Study: This study, a population base cohort, looked at a variety of fruits and vegetables and their correlation with stroke incident. Four classifications of colors were formed to categorize the fruits and vegetables for the purpose of the study:

  • Green: Cabbages, dark leafy greens, lettuces
  • Orange/Yellow: Citrus fruits, deep organ fruits and vegetables
  • Red/Purple: Berries and red vegetables
  • White: Hard fruits, apples, pears

For the study, 20,069 healthy adults ranging from ages 20 to 65 years old were followed over the course of 10 years. Their diets were recorded and tracked, specifically intake of the 4 categories of fruits and vegetables.  Risk factors such as education, cigarette smoking, and exercise were also tracked throughout the ten years.

The Results: Overall, this study revealed positive results. It found that consuming white fruits daily can lower the risk of stroke by 52%. For each 25 grams of white fruit consumed, the risk for stroke was reduced by 9%. Who knew that a simple and tasty task of eating an apple or pear could have such a big impact on one’s health? Compared to those who did not consume high amounts of white fruits, those who did had a much greater decrease in risk of stroke over the 10 years.

Why An Apple A Day Can Keep The Doctor Away: There are many ways to categorize fruits and vegetables based upon family group, contents of certain nutrients, and color classification. This study chose to place fruits and vegetables in groups by color because the color of a fruit or vegetable closely relates to it’s pigmented phytochemicals. Depending on what color a fruit or vegetable is will determine what phytochemicals it contains. Both apples and pears contain flavanoids, also known as vitamin P, which gives the fruit some yellow pigmentation but also work as an antioxidant. Their presence in apples and pears could possibly be attributed to the effect on a reduction in stroke risk as seen by this study.

Although all fruits and vegetables are important in maintaining good health, it is now proven that it is important to eat white fruits — especially apples and pears — to help prevent the on-set of stroke later in life. Many studies have been conducted to prove that fruit and vegetable consumption is capable if preventing many diseases. This study is just more proof of how important it is to get the daily recommended 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. So the saying is true, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!”


Publication of the study from the Journal of the American Stroke Association



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