In a massive study that included more than 3.7 million people, researchers found more evidence supporting what we already know: Fruits and vegetables are good for you. Furthermore, the work found they may help prevent peripheral artery disease (PAD).
The study, led by researchers at New York University, found that people who reported eating three or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables had an 18 percent lower chance of developing PAD than those who reported eating less. The results were published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.
“Our 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,” said Jeffrey Berger, MD, an associate professor of medicine and surgery at New York University School of Medicine, in a statement.
Previous research has pointed to evidence that not eating enough fruits and vegetables contributes to an increased chance of coronary heart disease and stroke, but there’s been little research on how consumption affects PAD.
In the new study, about 29.2 percent of participants reported eating three or more servings on fruits and vegetables every day. The study was completed at more than 20,000 sites across the U.S., and 6.3 percent of participants had PAD before the study began.
Additionally, the study revealed that older white women were the group most likely to eat three or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day, while younger black men were the least likely.