Dietary patterns should be established early on, so the population is advised to eat fruits and vegetable for a healthy adult heart, starting in their young adulthood.
- Researchers analyzed data from over 2,500 adults, between 1985 and 2005
- 20 years later, those eating 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables had a 26% decreased risk of heart problems
- Current recommendations suggest eating 4 vegetable servings and 3 fruit servings per day
- The study emphasizes the need to establish healthy dietary patterns as a young adult
Researchers at the Heart Institute in Minneapolis conducted an observational study on 2,506 adults, between 1985 and 2005. They observed the dietary patterns, more specifically the intake of fruit and vegetables. This has led them to a beneficial conclusion to back a majority of studies that encourage setting healthier diets.
However, this was the first research conducted on the younger generation. The results were beneficial two decades later where it concerned cardiovascular diseases.
The participants were divided into three groups. The first ate the most average of 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, while the third had the lowest average of 2-3 daily servings. Twenty years later, in 2005, they took computed tomography (CT) scans and observed the buildup of harmful calcium within their heart arteries.
The calcified coronary artery plaque is often non-existent for people in their 20s, and it’s used to indicate increased risk of cardiovascular problems later on.
The participants part of the top group had a 26% less chance of developing heart issues compared to those who ate the smallest amount of fruits and vegetables. According to lead author of the study, Dr. Michael Miedema, they were able to eliminate outside factors such as “education, income, smoking, weight and alcohol intake” for their results. The extra influencing details seem not to matter.
It did, however, seem that an extra intake of fruits and vegetables had a more beneficial effect for women.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people have at least 4 servings of vegetables, and 3 servings of fruits per day. That might not be enough to assure a healthy heart later on. The study serves as an excellent back up for numerous researches to include a better diet into your daily lives.
However, it also emphasizes the vital need to instate those habits very early. As stated by Dr. Miedema, a food pallet rich in fruits and vegetables as a young adult will result in a healthier heart during middle age. Their findings have underlined the issue that no one should wait until they’re 50 years old to start indulging in healthier habits.
Every once in a while, it’s encouraged that we replace a cookie with a serving of fruit instead. It’s crucial for the health of our hearts to start early, and make sure these dietary patterns continue on throughout the rest of our lives.
Image source: medscoopdaily.com