Eating more fruits and vegetables could lower risk of blockages in leg arteries

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Scientists from New York University found that eating three or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day may lower your risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD).

The research is published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and was conducted by Jeffrey Berger et al.

PAD narrows the arteries of the legs, limiting blood flow to the muscles and making it difficult or painful to walk or stand.

Previous studies linked lower consumption of fruits and vegetables with the increased occurrence of coronary heart disease and stroke.

In the study, the team examined data from 3.7 million people. Participants, who were an average age of 64, completed medical and lifestyle questionnaires and ankle brachial index tests at more than 20,000 sites across America.

An ankle-brachial index test is a comparison of blood pressure differences between readings at the ankle and the forearm.

The team found people who reported eating three or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables had 18 percent lower odds of PAD than those reporting eating less.

When stratified by smoking status, the association of lower PAD and increased fruits and vegetables was present only among participants who were current or former smokers.

Overall, 6.3 percent of participants had PAD and 29.2 percent reported eating three or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

The study provides important information to the public that something as simple as adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet could have a major impact on the prevalence of life-altering peripheral artery disease.

Researchers also said their study confirmed that Americans’ overall fruit and vegetable intake remains dismally low.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how to reverse heart failure with diet, and this diet is linked to lower death risk in older people.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blueberries strongly benefit people with metabolic syndrome, and results showing Mediterranean diet plus fish oil improves mental health in people with depression.

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