Eat an Apple or Pear a Day to Prevent Stroke

An apple a day is said to keep the doctor away, and it turns out that saying may be true — at least when it comes to stroke specifically. According to a study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, eating a healthy diet that is full of fruits and vegetables that have white flesh (like apples and pears do) may protect against stroke.

Researchers studied the consumption of different colored fruits and vegetables and its effect on 10-year stroke incidence in a group of 20,069 adults. Fruits and vegetables were grouped into the color groups green (lettuce, cabbage), orange/yellow (citrus), red/purple (beets, red peppers) and white (apples, pears, bananas, cucumber). The study researchers found that although the green, orange/yellow and red/purple groups weren't related to stroke, people who had a high intake of white fruits and vegetables had a 52 percent lower risk of stroke than those who had a low intake of white produce. In fact, each 25 gram per day increase in white fruits and vegetable was associated with a 9 percent lower risk of stroke. An average apple clocks in at 120 grams.

Previous studies have linked high consumption of fruits and vegetables with lower stroke risk, but this is the first study that looked at the color and properties of the fruits and vegetables to see which ones were the most beneficial for reducing the risk of stroke. Apples and pears are high in dietary fiber and a flavonoid called quercetin, which may play a role, researchers said. 
Other studies have shown that eating a robust and diverse fruit-and-veggie diet from all colors of the rainbow is important for overall health and protecting against a range of chronic diseases. So this is just another reason to eat those fruits and vegetables often!
 
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