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Monday 22 December  
White fruit and vegetables
Myrtille van Bommel's picture
Hilversum, Netherlands
Hilversum, Netherlands

An apple a day—keeps strokes away

Published on : 20 September 2011 - 4:09pm | By Myrtille van Bommel (Fab:o Fo:s /Judy)
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“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” as the saying goes, turns out to be less fanciful than one might think. Dutch research suggests that white fruit and vegetables –apples, pears, chicory, cauliflower – lower the chance of a stroke by up to 55 percent.

The nutritional study, by Wageningen University’s Linda Oude Griep, is the first to examine the relationship between the colour of fruit and vegetables and health.

To determine the impact on strokes, she divided fruit and vegetables by their colours. Green ones (spinach, lettuce), yellow/oranges ones (citrus fruits, carrots), and red/purple ones (tomatoes, strawberries, blue grapes) did not lessen the likelihood of a stroke. But people with a high intake of white fruit and vegetables had 55 percent fewer strokes than people with a low intake.

Oude Griep’s research is based on a survey of 20,000 people taken in 2001 by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment:

“This gives us a fairly complete picture of what people were eating ten years ago. Since then, all of them have been tracked for cardiovascular diseases. Our study is based on the combined data.”

Research has yet to determine which of the many different nutrients in the white group are exactly responsible for the lower stroke rate.

“What we can say is that 55 percent of the white fruit and vegetables consisted of apples and pears, which are rich in fibres as well as flavonoids and quercetin. These nutrients are thought to offer protection against strokes. This might explain the positive effect.”

Oude Griep stresses that her study will require further research. But it confirms, she says, the importance of a diet high in a variety of fruit and vegetables.

Ineke van Dis, a nutrition expert at the Dutch Cardiovascular Foundation, agrees.

“It is a first, important finding. But our foundation takes a broad approach to cardiovascular diseases. We therefore advise people to eat fruit and vegetables of all colours, including white ones of course.”


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide



Anonymous 23 September 2011 - 12:21pm

@Awesome Ted: perhaps, but there is so much information on the web that it is difficult to sift fact from fiction. I follow I found the information useful for my health, and commented here. Complex isn't it?

jasmin 21 September 2011 - 12:43pm

All vegetables and fruits act as medicines or act against the body in some diseases. For example, apples are good for stroke but bad for fibroids;cauliflower good for stroke and breast cancer but bad for low thyroid; soya a good protein but bad for low thyroid and male fertility....complex game..

user avatar
Awesome Ted 22 September 2011 - 8:58pm

Complex indeed.
Apples are not 'bad for fibroids', they're one of the foods recommended to cure them. Cauliflower may only affect the thyroid if eaten uncooked in huge quantities. Soy does not cause hypothyroidism in otherwise healthy people (though it may impede Synthroid absorption in thyroid patients). The link between soy and sperm count is valid, but this planet seems to be plagued by excessive human fertility.

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