The protective benefits of fruit and veg

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It’s no secret that fruit and vegetables have many benefits, including supporting heart health – dietitians have been saying this for years.

Now research has shown that even a short-term intake of fruits and veggies has beneficial results for your heart.

The observational study by Juraschek et al. (2020), published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that when compared to a typical diet – the standard American diet in this case – an eight-week diet rich in fruits and vegetables resulted in significantly lower levels of a blood marker that indicates damage and strain to the heart in people who didn’t have pre-existing heart disease.

The researchers hypothesise that dietary factors common to both the DASH diet (which is rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy and fibre) and diets rich in fruit and veg, including higher amounts of potassium, magnesium and fibre, may partly explain the observed effects.

While this study compared fruit and veg intake compared to a standard American diet, the findings can be extrapolated to Australians, as it’s well known that making even small healthy dietary changes has benefits for not only heart health, but overall health.

According to the Australian Guide to Healthy eating, Australian adults should aim for two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day.

For more information and to read the research study, visit: acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-0336