White Fruit and Stroke Risk

Here’s another reason to add more pears and apples to your diet. According to a recent study, consuming fruit with white edible portions can reduce the risk of stroke by 52 percent.

Researchers in the Netherlands set out to determine whether there was a link between vegetable and fruit color group consumption and 10-year stroke incidence. They studied 20,069 adults with an average age of 41 years; none of them had any cardiovascular disease when the study began. The participants had all filled out a 178-item food frequency questionnaire for the previous year. Fruits and vegetables were classified into several color groups: cabbages, lettuce and other dark green leafy vegetables; orange and yellow colors, most of which were citrus fruits; white colors, 55% of which were apples and pears; red and purple colors, most of which were red vegetables.

The study participants suffered 233 strokes during the ten-year follow up period. The researchers found that stroke incidence was not impacted by the consumption of red/purple and orange/yellow fruits. However, they found that high intake of white fruits and vegetables was associated with a 52% lower risk of developing stroke, compared to a low intake. There was a nine percent lower risk of stroke for every 25 gram increase (the weight of an average size apple) in daily white fruit and vegetable consumption.

Pears and apples are rich in a flavonoid called quercetin, as well as dietary fiber. Other white category fruit and vegetables include cauliflower, banana, cucumber and chicory.

The authors of the study say it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetables. However, they say, it’s still important to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables because other fruits and vegetable color groups may protect against other chronic diseases.