“Obesity and high blood pressure are the two main risk factors for heart disease,” Rimm says. “And fruit intake has been linked to lowering the risk of both.

For example, trials have shown that you can get a 20 to 25 percent reduction in risk of heart disease by replacing two servings of starchy vegetables or refined carbohydrates with two servings of fruit a day.”

The potassium in fruit helps account for the strong association between increased fruit intake and a lower risk of high blood pressure. But it’s not just one nutrient in fruit that makes a difference.  Anthocyanins reduced the risk of hypertension by 8 to 12 percent in people who consumed the most in a 14-year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These compounds have been shown to improve vascular function, reducing inflammation in the vessels and improving blood flow. And the impact of increasing of increasing your fruit intake on blood pressure can be quick. “In some of our research, we’ve seen reductions within three months of dietary change, Rimm says.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health June 2018 Eric Rimm, Sc.D., professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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