Normally I tell you: if the food is white, you should stay away from it.
White flour. White potatoes. White sugar. You shouldn’t touch any of it.
So it may come as a surprise when I say, not all white foods are bad.
There are few “white foods” you do need. In fact, a Dutch study found that eating specific white foods might reduce your risk of suffering a stroke.
This study followed more than 20,000 middle-aged men and women for 10 years. At the beginning of the study, none of the men and women suffered from any type of cardiovascular disease.
To kick things off, researchers asked their volunteers to fill out a detailed questionnaire about the kinds of foods they regularly ate. Specifically, the researchers wanted to see what kinds of fruits and vegetables the volunteers ate.
Then, the researchers classified the fruits and veggies into four groups, by color:
- Orange or Yellow
- Red or Purple
And the results may surprise you…
Eating white foods pays off in 52% less strokes
The researchers followed the men and women for the next 10 years.
During this time, 233 of the volunteers suffered strokes. But the men and women who ate the most “white” food had 52 percent fewer strokes than men and women who ate the least amount of “white” food.
In fact, for each 25 grams per day increase in “white” foods eaten, the volunteers cut their stroke risk by an impressive nine percent!
On the other hand, eating plenty of green, orange, yellow, red, and purple foods didn’t do anything to decrease stroke risk. (But don’t go cutting out those veggies…it just means they help you in other ways!)
So what kind of “white” foods did they eat?
In the study, the white fruits and vegetables included…
Best of all, 55 percent of the white foods eaten in the study were apples or pears!
An apple a day could slice your stroke risk 45%!
Apples and pears count as “white” foods because their inside or “flesh” is white. The researchers believe the phytochemicals in the white flesh of apples and pears may help protect you against strokes.
And remember how I said eating just 25 grams per day of white produce cut stroke risk by 9 percent? Well, guess how many grams the average apple weighs?
It weighs about 120 grams. So eating just one medium apple a day could cut your stroke risk by up to 45 percent!
How easy is that to work into your diet?!
So — while green, red, and purple veggies usually get all the attention. Remember this: eating certain whites is good for you too!
According to Linda Oude Griep, M.Sc., the study’s lead author, “To prevent stroke, it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetables. For example, eating one apple a day is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake.”
Want another a few more reasons to eat lots of apples and pears?
White fruits contain powerful antioxidants
Apples and pears contain a powerful antioxidant called quercetin.
Emerging evidence suggests that quercetin may slow the growth of cancer cells, especially colon cancer cells. It also appears to encourage the normal turnover of cells in your body. We call this process apoptosis. Cancer cells do not undergo apoptosis. They just keep replicating and growing.
Plus, other studies raise the possibility that quercetin may help fight prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and heart disease.
So eat lots of white fruits and veggies this fall, folks. Just remember the other whites are still off-limits, including white potatoes.
Dr. Allan Spreen
Nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” Dr. Spreen has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.
In addition to his role as a Senior Member of the prestigious Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Spreen also coaches diving at the international and Olympic levels. NorthStar Nutritionals is proud to have Dr. Spreen as their Chief Research Advisor.
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