Newsletter #188 - Fruits & Veggies to Fight Heart Disease 🍓
Hey there humanOS friends! So, this week, we dug into some epidemiological research examining the beneficial impact of fruit and vegetable consumption on cardiovascular disease and stroke.
This is not just an individual health issue, but a global public health concern, especially as more and more countries around the world embrace modern Western dietary patterns and ultra-processed foods. Indeed, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption at the individual level to 600 grams per day has been projected to potentially reduce the total worldwide burden of ischemic heart disease by 31% and ischemic stroke by 19% - saving money and more importantly saving lives.
Unfortunately, we here in the US are falling well short. According to the CDC, only about 1 in 10 adults consume enough fruits and vegetables to meet federal recommendations. How much is enough? Well, as you’ll see from the observational studies below, around five total servings of fruits and vegetables repeatedly emerges as the magic number for reducing cardiovascular disease, which is largely in agreement with established guidelines. Worth noting, some trials have suggested that more might offer additional advantages. To learn more, scroll down 👇
This Week's Research Highlights
🫀 Eating more servings of fruits and vegetables is linked to lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Researchers in the UK performed a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies that looked at the relationship between frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption and incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). They came up with 12 relevant studies, including data from a total of 278,459 individuals who were followed for a median of 11 years. After combining and analyzing the data, they found that increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables from less than three servings to more than five servings per day was associated with a 17% reduction in coronary heart disease risk.
🥗 Eating more servings of fruits and vegetables is also linked to reduced risk of stroke.
The same research team as above combed the scientific literature for epidemiological studies examining fruit and vegetable consumption and incidence of stroke, and found eight studies including a total of 257,551 individuals who were followed for an average of 13 years. In this meta-analysis, the researchers found that individuals who consumed more than five servings per day of fruits and vegetables had a 26% reduction in risk of stroke, compared to those eating less than three servings per day. Those who ate between 3-5 servings per day had an 11% reduction in risk.
🍌 Fruit and vegetable intake is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and risk of death from any cause.
Researchers analyzed data from 9608 Americans participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Epidemiologic Follow-up Study, who did not have cardiovascular disease at their initial baseline examination. Fruit and vegetable intake at baseline was measured with a food-frequency questionnaire, and the participants were followed for an average of 19 years. At the end of follow-up, the researchers determined that consuming fruits and vegetables at least three times per day (compared to less than one time per day) was associated with 27% lower stroke incidence, 42% lower stroke mortality, 24% lower ischemic heart disease mortality, 27% lower cardiovascular disease mortality, and 15% lower all-cause mortality.
Random Trivia & Weird News
🏛️ Ancient Romans had a 6-month suicide warranty for purchased slaves.
Suicide did not carry the same moral or religious connotations in ancient antiquity as it does in Christianity and other faiths; however, it was frowned upon for practical reasons.
As one example, it was a criminal offense for a slave to commit suicide, since slaves were legally property and killing themselves would obviously erase a fairly expensive capital investment. To that end, if a slave were to commit suicide within six months of being purchased, their corpse could be returned to the original master for a full refund.
Videos We Loved This Week
- Justin Schmidt: The King of Sting. Via Arizona Illustrated.
- Adrian Smith: Seven Spectacular Moths in Slow Motion. Via The Ant Lab.
Products We Are Enjoying
Glass salad jar
Mason jar salads have emerged as a way to meal prep healthy lunches in a convenient, portable container (if you have ever been on Instagram at all, I'm sure you've seen them). But most glass mason jars aren’t really built with this purpose in mind - except for this one. This 34 oz jar has a stainless steel cup embedded in the lid so you can easily pack the amount of dressing or sauce that you want. Looks cool and is very practical if you’re trying to up your meal prep game.
humanOS Catalog Feature of the Week
Thanks for reading, and we will see y'all next week!