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For Healthier Arteries, Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of peripheral artery disease, according to a study of more than 3.6 million individuals in the U.S.

“We hope that studies like this can be an important reminder of the role we as consumers have on heart disease and stroke,” Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger from New York University School of Medicine told Reuters Health. “We often remember to take our medication, yet studies like this should remind us to eat our fruits and veggies every day. Moreover, we should continue reminding our young generation of this importance now before disease develops.”

Past research has linked fruit and vegetable consumption to a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, but there has been little research into the effects of fruits and vegetables on arteries in the legs and arms, Berger’s team writes in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, usually arises as a narrowing of arteries to the legs that causes cramping, pain or tiredness in the muscles while walking or climbing stairs. It affects at least 8 to 12 million Americans.

Risk for PAD increases with age, and with a history of smoking, diabetes or high blood pressure.

To investigate whether fruit and vegetable consumption influences risk for PAD, Berger’s team analyzed dietary data on 3,696,778 men and women with an average age of about 65, around 234,000 of whom had PAD.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture/U.S. Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables each day, but only 29 percent of participants in the study said they ate even three servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Nearly half said they consumed at least three servings of fruit and vegetables on fewer than half the days of the week.

Older white women were most likely to consume fruits and vegetables regularly, and younger black men were least likely to eat at least three servings daily.

Fruit and vegetable consumption also varied by region, with those living in the Pacific states reporting the most regular consumption and those living in the South Central states reporting the least regular consumption.

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After adjusting for age, sex, race and other risk factors, the more fruits and vegetables the participants ate, the lower their likelihood of having PAD.

When researchers divided participants according to their smoking status, they found the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and PAD was strongest among current smokers, less significant among former smokers and not significant among people who never smoked.

“Unfortunately, fruit and vegetable intake is quite low across the entire United States,” Berger said by email.

“Something as simple as eating fruits and vegetables could have a major impact on the prevalence of a life-altering disease, such as peripheral artery disease,” he said.

“Watch what you eat,” Berger advised. “And pay careful attention to eat fruits and vegetables every single day.”

“Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is important and can have far reaching health benefits,” said Dr. Michelle L. Redmond from University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, who wasn’t involved in the study.

To get people to up their intake of greens, she said by email, “First, one must take into consideration factors that influence behaviors such as access and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables (how do you change or lessen certain barriers to fruit/vegetable intake). Then design interventions or campaigns that are tailored to specific audiences to motivate and increase fruit/vegetable consumption. Finally, there is also a need to increase nutrition literacy.”

Getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables is a challenge in other countries, too, noted Dr. Miguel A. Martinez-Gonzalez from University of Navarra Medical School in Spain, who wasn’t involved in the study. He acknowledged the special importance of fruit and vegetable consumption for smokers but, he told Reuters Health, “This advice should be given to everybody.”

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "For Healthier Arteries, Eat More Fruits and Veggies" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "For Healthier Arteries, Eat More Fruits and Veggies" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*