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The 3 Best Healthy Foods In Your Fridge That Prevent An Aneurysm

By on August 21, 2013
We’re often told that eating fruits and vegetables can keep us healthy–but could it prevent a potentially dangerous aneurysm? That’s what researchers say could happen if you eat a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, according to a new study published in the journal Circulation.

Researchers, who studied more than 80,000 Swedish men and women over a period of 13 years, found that those who ate the most fruits were 31 percent less likely to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a condition which could cause fatal blood loss if ruptured.

“An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body,” says the Mayo Clinic. “The aorta, about the thickness of a garden hose, runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen. Because the aorta is the body’s main supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.”

Details of the Aneurysm Study

Following previous research which found that eating fruits and vegetables improved vascular health, researchers hypothesized that they too could prevent aneurysms, which they investigated in a study involving over 80,000 Swedish men and women. They split the group into four smaller groups based on the number of fruits and vegetables they ate, tracking the four groups for a total of 13 years.

At the end of the study, nearly 1,100 people had abdominal aortic aneurysms, of which 222 ruptured. More interestingly, over 80 percent of those who experienced this were men.

But the biggest correlation they found was the frequency of fruit intake. For those who ate the most fruit, they were 31 percent less likely to have an aneurysm, compared to those who skipped fruit completely.

Researchers say they favored popular fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas.

“A high consumption of fruits may help to prevent many vascular diseases, and our study suggests that a lower risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm will be among the benefits,” says Dr. Otto Stackelberg, a doctoral researcher at the Institute of Environmental Medicine’s Nutritional Epidemiology Unit at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. “Other studies have found that eating more fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and several cancers.”

So what does this mean for everyone? For starters, the American Heart Association says this makes it even more critical for adults to get their daily fill of fruits and veggies–about four to five servings a day. Doing so may also reduce other risk factors that raise the risk of an aneurysm, including obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The Mayo Clinic also recommends cutting out tobacco use–a strong risk factor that could accelerate the development of an aneurysm, especially for men over 65.

“Tobacco use is a strong risk factor for the development of an abdominal aortic aneurysm,” says the Mayo Clinic. “The longer you’ve smoked or chewed tobacco, the greater your risk.”

Readers: Are you at risk for an aneurysm? What do you do to minimize your risk?

Sources:
Abdominal Aortic AneurysmMayoClinic.com
Diet Heavy in Fruit May Minimize Aneurysm RiskCBSNews.com

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