Millions of cardiovascular deaths attributed to not eating enough fruits and vegetables
The study estimated that roughly 1 in 7 cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough fruit and 1 in 12 cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough vegetables.
Low fruit intake resulted in nearly 1.8 million cardiovascular deaths in 2010, while low vegetable intake resulted in 1 million deaths, according to researchers.
Overall, the toll of suboptimal fruit intake was almost double that of vegetables.
The impacts were most acute in countries with the lowest average intakes of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and phenolics, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Fresh fruits and vegetables also improve the health and diversity of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
People who eat more of these foods also are less likely to be overweight or obese, lowering their risk of cardiovascular disease. ■