There is yet another reason to eat your fruits and veggies.
New research recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows an association between a higher intake of fruits and vegetables and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and early death.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital made the discovery after observing data from about 100,000 Danes, including their DNA and vegetable and fruit intake. Researchers believe the outcome is due to the high levels of vitamin C found in vegetables and fruits.
Camilla Kobylecki, a medical doctor and PhD student at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, explained, “We can see that those with the highest intake of fruit and vegetables have a 15% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 20% lower risk of early death compared with those who very rarely eat fruit and vegetables. At the same time, we can see that the reduced risk is related to high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the fruit and vegetables.”
Previous studies have found that dietary vitamin C can help prevent coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant for cell protection against free radical damage that can lead to diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.
The researchers placed greater emphasis on eating whole foods rich in vitamin C—rather than vitamin C supplements—as part of a long-term healthy lifestyle.
The top vitamin C foods include red bell peppers, parsley, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, oranges, strawberries, and lemon juice. According to the National Institutes of Health, men over the age of 19 require 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily, while women 19 and older need 75 milligrams per day.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Vitamin C related to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and early death,” Medical News Today web site, July 7, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/296453.php?tw.
Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating (Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation), 672–675.
“Vitamin C: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals,” National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements web site; http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/, last accessed July 7, 2015.
Ye, Z., “Antioxidant vitamins intake and the risk of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of cohort studies,” European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation February 2008; 15(1): 26–34, doi: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e3282f11f95.