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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

An apple a day keeps a fatal heart attack away (and works as well as a statin)
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

An apple a day keeps a fatal heart attack away (and works as well as a statin) image

Just eating one apple a day could reduce your chances of a fatal heart attack by 60 per cent. It could even be as good as a statin drug for reducing cholesterol levels and an antihypertensive for bringing down your blood pressure.

These health benefits can be achieved when you eat just 100g of fruit—which is equivalent to half an apple—every day. And it’s important that the fruit is fresh and not processed.

The importance of eating fruit was uncovered by researchers when they explored the health and diets of 512,891 Chinese men and women, who rarely include fruit in their diets. So the health benefits were in stark contrast among the minority who regularly eat fruit, say researchers from Oxford University.

Regular fruit eaters reduce their risk of a fatal heart attack by 60 per cent, and their chances of major heart problems and stroke by 66 per cent. This was also borne out in reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The study ran for seven years, and underlined the results from previous studies that found that the lack of fruit in the diet was one of the leading causes of premature death in China. The researchers reckon that regularly eating fruit could prevent around 500,000 heart deaths a year in China, and even more non-fatal strokes and heart attacks.


References

(Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; 374: 1332-43)

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