Apparently, you can tell whether a fruit is rich in phytochemicals by the color of its edible portion. Phytochemicals are naturally-occurring compounds that are found in plants. Generally, phytochemicals refers to plant compounds that may have an impact on human health although they are not established essential nutrients. Examples include carotenoids and flavonoids.
Linda M. Oude Griep, M.Sc. and team set out to determine whether there might be a link between vegetable and fruit color group consumption and 10-year stroke incidence. Their study involved 20,069 adults, with an average age of 41 years. None of them had any cardiovascular disease when the study began – they had all filled in a 178-item food frequency questionnaire for the previous year.
They classified the fruits and vegetables into the following color groups:
The researchers documented 233 strokes during the ten-year follow up period. They found that stroke incidence was not impacted by the consumption of orange/yellow and red/purple fruits. However, a high intake of white fruits and vegetables was found to be associated with a 52% lower risk of developing stroke, compared to a low intake.
There was a 9% reduced risk of stroke for every 25 gram increase in daily white fruit and vegetable consumption. An average sized apple weighs about 120 grams.
Linda M. Oude Griep, M.Sc., said:
“To prevent stroke, it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetables. For example, eating one apple a day is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake.
However, other fruits and vegetable color groups may protect against other chronic diseases. Therefore, it remains of importance to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables.”
Pears and apples are rich in quercetin, a flavonoid, as well as dietary fiber. The authors wrote that white category fruit and vegetables include cucumber, chicory, cauliflower and banana. Potatoes were classed as starch.
Current US federal dietary guidelines recommend picking varying vegetables from five subgroups: starchy, legume, red/orange, dark/green and other vegetables.
Source – Medical News Today