Does eating fruit and vegetables regularly keep the heart heathy?
Diet plays a vital role in human health. A good diet can keep people healthy, while a bad diet can lead to illness. As an old saying goes, “ An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Having a diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is good for human health, especially heart health. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can eliminate certain risk factors and prevent damage to the heart.
Causes of heart disease
The heart is a vital organ to keep blood flowing throughout the body. To transmit and refresh blood, the heart beats to pump the blood among the four chambers, oxygenizing the blood. During the transmission, the heart muscle needs oxygen and other nutrients supplied through the coronary arteries to get the power to pump and contract. According to Singh(2006), when fatty material, calcium and scar tissue combine in the arteries forming plaque, the plaque narrows the arteries, slowing the blood flow, which leads to a pain in the chest or angina, or even worse causes a heart attack or a fatal rhythm disturbance. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is caused by the coronary artery problems that stop the “ oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood” from flowing into the heart. Various risk factors contributes to these problems, including heredity, high cholesterol, tobacco abuse, obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, high-fat diet and other physical or psychological problems( Singh, 2006). These risk factors can be reduced by a dietary pattern rich in fruit and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables & risk factors
Fruit and vegetables are an important component of a healthy diet. Evidence shows that a high intake of fruit and vegetables contributes to human health in many ways, playing a vital role in disease prevention. The results from the Harvard studies along with other long-term studies in the U.S. and Europe indicate that an intake of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day lowers risk of CHD considerably( Harvard School of Public Health, accessed 20th April 2014). The reason for the capability of fruit and vegetables to prevent heart disease is that they possess protective constituents which can eliminate the risk factors causing heart failure.
As was stated by Djoussé et al, the daily fruit and vegetables intake amount is inversely related to LDL-cholesterol concentration, a kind of concentration consisting of low-density lipoprotein and cholesterol. Taking various factors into account, the researchers reported that higher consumption of fruit and vegetables leads to lower concentrations of LDL-cholesterol regardless of age, keys score, smoking status and other factors. As the study shows, a “fiber-multivitamin combination” helps reduce LDL-cholesterol concentration and diets which are abundant in fruit and vegetables are good supplies of dietary fiber, which demonstrates the dose-response correlation between higher consumption of fruit and vegetables ...