People who are genetically susceptible to heart disease can lower their risk by eating plenty of fruit and raw vegetables, a study suggests.
It says five or more daily portions should be enough to counteract culprit versions of a gene on chromosome 9, thought to be possessed by a fifth of people of European ancestry. Healthy diets appeared to weaken its effect. The Canadian researchers investigated more than 27,000 people for their work. These participants came from around the globe, including Europe, China and Latin America. The results suggest that individuals with high risk 9p21 gene versions who consumed a diet packed with raw vegetables, fruits and berries had a similar risk of heart attack as those with a low-risk variant of the same gene.
Foods that count:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Dried fruits, such as currants, dates, sultanas and figs
- Tinned or canned fruits and vegetables
- Fruits and vegetables cooked in dishes such as soups, stews or pasta dishes
- A glass (150ml) of unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juice
- Beans and pulses; these only count as one portion a day, no matter how many you eat
Researcher from McMaster University, said: “Our results support the public health recommendation to consume more than five servings of fruits or vegetables as a way to promote good health.”