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Really? An apple a day?

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Really? An apple a day?

The old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, may actually be true! There has been such a push in the past few years to encourage people to fill their diets with lots of colorful fruits and veggies and to stay away from those white fleshed fruits and veg. I have always been a huge proponent of people eating apples and pears, mostly because they are easily accessible almost everywhere and they are a staple of my diet!  Portable, yummy, and they fill you up with all of the fiber they have in them...a perfect snack!  A new study just finished that also shows how helpful they can be to prevent health issues, such as stroke, too!

What's the scoop?
A large study consisting of around 20,000 people from the ages of 20 to 65 that had no previous cardiac (heart) issues, had their diets studied for one year.  A 10 year follow-up was then performed on all patients, and it was found that of the people studied, 233 patients had strokes.  They were able to figure out that people who ate white fleshed fruits (apples, bananas, and pears) and veggies (cauliflower, chicory, and cucumber) had a 52% lower risk of stroke, compared to those who didn't eat the white fleshed fruits.  A 25-gram increase in white fleshed fruits decreased the risk by 9%; an apple (medium sized) is approximately 120-grams, thus a 43.2% decrease risk of stroke that day!



What does this mean?
Every apple, pear, serving of cucumbers, etc can have a huge impact on your health and decrease your risk of stroke.  Trying to encompass white flesh fruits and veggies each day can have significant health effects! Of course, I am not telling you to ditch the other fruits and veggies of various colors, they are so important in your diet, as they contain antioxidants, that have free radical fighting abilities and are thought to decrease risk of cancer. Really, the more colorful and pretty looking your plate of food is, usually the better it is for you; you are getting in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and food sources! I always think that the more colorful meals are, the more I get excited for them...just because they look nice (I'm not THAT nerdy that I get excited for vitamins!)

If you are at risk for stroke due to family history, smoking, obesity, diabetes, etc then you might want to try to increase the amount of white fruits and vegetables because it may help to offset your other risk factors.  Plus, it is so easy to grab an apple or a pear as a snack in the afternoon, and when you drink them with a glass of water, their high amount of pectin (their natural fiber) will keep you filled up until dinner!  And, what a better way to spend a fall day than to go apple picking and know that when you eat them, you will be doing some disease prevention!

Yours in Good Health
B



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