People in the study who ate fruits regularly had a 40 percent reduction in cardiovascular diseases than non-consumers.leyla.a/Flickr

Including even small portions of fruit to the daily diet helps to fight many deadly diseases, according to a new study from the Oxford University.

People in the study who ate fruits regularly had a 40 percent reduction in cardiovascular diseases than non-consumers.

Cardiovascular disease is a term that refers to the disorders of the circulatory system consisting heart and blood vessels. It includes heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure.

To analyse the health benefits associated with daily fruit consumption, Dr Huaidong Du and colleagues followed 4,51,681 Chinese people for seven years.

Based on fruit intake, participants were divided into five different groups: zero, monthly, daily, or either one to three or four to six days a week.

During the study period, nearly 19,300 people developed ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and another 19,689 had strokes.

Participants who ate fruits daily had 25 to 40 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases – IHD (15 percent) ischaemic stroke (25 percent) and haemorrhagic stroke (40 percent) - than those who never ate fruits.

The cardiovascular risk declined further when the participants increased their daily fruit intake.

"Our data clearly shows that eating fresh fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including ischaemic heart disease and stroke (particularly haemorrhagic stroke). And not only that, the more fruit you eat the more your CVD risk goes down. It does suggest that eating more fruit is beneficial compared to less or no fruit," Dr Du, said in a news release.

Interestingly, eating fruits daily helped to keep blood pressure under control. "Our data show that eating fresh fruit was associated with lower baseline BP. We also found that the beneficial effect of fruit on the risk of CVD was independent of its impact on baseline BP," she added later.

To provide more evidence, researchers looked at 61,000 patients with cardiovascular diseases or baseline hypertension. Results showed that fruit consumption decreased the death risk by 32 percent; heart disease and stroke by 27 and 40 percent respectively.

Researchers presented their findings at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress held in Barcelona on Monday.

Some Disease-Fighting Fruits

  • Oranges: They are rich in antioxidants and there are many evidences to show that oranges can protect against cancer.
  • Fruits Rich in Vitamin C: Fruits like papaya, berries, kiwifruit, melons and pineapple have been proved to prevent strokes.
  • Apple: A study conducted by researchers from the Oxford University in the UK found that regular consumption of apples was as effective as the cholesterol lowering drugs statin, in preventing deaths from cardiovascular diseases.
  • Kiwi: Evidence shows that kiwi can reduce risk of cataracts, and prevent DNA damage.
  • Strawberry: They can lower bad cholesterol, prevent heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular diseases and improve brain function.
  • Red grapes and blue berry: These fruits can help to improve the innate immune system and help the body to fight infections.
  • Grapes: Grape seed extract has been proven to fight bowel and prostate cancer.
  • Bananas: Eating bananas can help protect against strokes and high blood pressure.