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Nutrition Column

Avoiding Disease

What relationship does eating fruits and vegetables have with cardiovascular disease, cancer and even death?

According to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the answer is a lot. The researchers found the intake of fruits and vegetables modestly reduced the development of chronic diseases. More specifically, they found the most benefits for cardiovascular disease.

This massive study was performed on over 100,000 people. The researchers managed to track 71,910 females and 37,725 males for over ten years in order to determine any progress made from a diet primarily based on fruits and vegetables.They found fruit and vegetable intake to be inversely correlated with cardiovascular disease. This inverse relationship means that as fruits and vegetables intake increased the incidence of heart disease decreased.

The group that experienced the greatest benefits ate a combined average of five servings a day of fruits and vegetables. Five servings a day and you can decrease your risk of getting heart disease. Considering heart disease is the number one killer in America today, this finding is of monumental importance to our society and can serve to an inspiration to many to go straight to the produce section the next time you visit your local grocery store.

Written by Aaron Losey, B.A. Kinesiology, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA