TheBUZZ Fruits & veggies can decrease risk for one or more diseases?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
The phytochemicals and micronutrients in fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products (other than rice and wheat) may lower a person’s risk of a developing one or more health problems.
WHAT WE KNOW
In the past, most studies have focused on the impact of nutrition on the development of a chronic (long-term) disease in an individual. Newly released research based on a 5-year study done in China tracked 1,020 participants to determine the association between food and the risk of developing multimorbidity, a condition in which an individual develops two or more chronic health problems such as anemia, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, arthritis, hepatitis, coronary heart disease, asthma, stroke, fracture, and cancer.
Among the findings …
- At the beginning of the study, 58% of participants had at least one chronic disease, while 14% had two or more. Within five years, the incidence of multimorbidity in the study group increased from 14% to 34%.
- Researchers found an association between nutrition and a decreased risk of developing multimorbidity. During the study, participants who developed only one chronic disease and those who remained stable with only one chronic disease were found to have a higher total intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products than those participants who had a stable or increasing number of multiple diseases.
- Fruit consumption may be an important factor in preventing the occurrence of a first chronic disease, while vegetable consumption could delay the occurrence of additional chronic diseases.
- The presence of phytochemicals and micronutrients such as dietary fibers, iron, vitamin C, and magnesium in in fruits, vegetables, and certain grain products are thought to be partly responsible for the disease-preventive benefits of these foods.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
In a 2013 study released in Clinical Nutrition, Chinese researchers presented data from a 5-year longitudinal study of 1020 Chinese participants. This study examined the impact of nutrition on the development of one or more chronic diseases. The study concluded that fruits, vegetables and grains (other than rice and wheat) may lower a person’s risk of developing one or more multiple chronic diseases.*
While the disease-prevention benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are well documented, this latest research suggests that there may also be an association between eating fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed grain products and a decreased likelihood that a person with one or more chronic diseases may develop additional chronic diseases.
Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products to lower your risk of developing one or more chronic diseases. This website features many healthy recipes as well as helpful tips on meal planning and how to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Learn about phytochemicals (health benefits and fruit and vegetable sources) and check out our list of key nutrients in fruits & vegetables.
*Ruel G, et al. “Association between nutrition and the evolution of multimorbidity: The importance of fruits and vegetables and whole grain products, Clinical Nutrition
(2013). View Study