After the last blog post about cardiovascular disease, I received an interesting question. The reader asked me, “From the list of ten recommendations you gave us, which one should I start with?”
Great question! Hard to pick just one, but here’s what I suggested.
One of the easiest and most effective things you can do to improve your health in general and heart health in particular, is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
I found a recent study where researchers from Iran’s Obesity Research Center examined fruit and vegetable intake in 840 men and women from Tehran, and the results were dramatic. The subjects who ate a lot of different fruits and vegetables were significantly and inversely associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Specifically, it appears that eating a VARIETY of fruits and vegetables leads to lower LDL cholesterol in a dose-responsive manner. That means you’ll get more benefits from eating an apple, an orange, a banana, and some broccoli than you will from just eating an apple and an orange.
So every time you are at the grocery store, add at least one new fruit and one new vegetable to your cart. You can choose from kiwi fruit, avocados, asparagus, pears, spinach, and so many other amazing and delicious foods. This past month two foods I’ve added to my salads are radishes and jicama. I guess I was craving crunchy foods! And for fruits, let’s just say that lately I’ve been going gaga over grapefruit!
Try to be a little better every week with your fruit and vegetable intake and you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease in one of the simplest possible ways.
As you know I’m all for extending my life and living out my years in tip-top health, and I really do think that it’s a matter of making simple lifestyle choices, like eating a wider variety of fruits and veggies!