Researchers conducting the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Heart study have recently released data that supports the idea that eating fruits and vegetables helps to stave off disease, namely ischemic heart disease.
The study followed more than 300,000 people in eight European countries and began in 1992, with each participant being followed for about eight years. It revealed that individuals who ate eight or more portions of fruits and vegetables daily had a 22 percent lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease.
Ischemic heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and causes a reduced flow of blood to the heart, leading to chest pain and heart attacks.
Researchers noted that participants who ate the optimal level of 640 grams of produce per day were the minority at about 18 percent. The average participant ate five 80-gram servings of fruits or vegetables daily.
This information may suggest a need for more fresh foods in diets. Healthy eating is not only shown to promote a healthy heart, but can help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure and reduce chances of a stroke, the team reported.