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Apples, Pears Fend Off Strokes

White-fleshed fruit reduced strokes in Dutch study
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2011 3:16 PM CDT
Apples, Pears Reduce Chance of Stroke: Dutch Study
This Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011 photo shows a basket of apples including a Hudson Golden Gem, top left, a Wickson, bottom left, and a Calville Blanc d'Hiver, bottom right, at Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, N.H. Old-fashioned apples are back in fashion. Apple varieties that were popular decades or even...   (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

(Newser) – An apple a day may keep the doctor away, and more specifically lessen your chance of having a stroke. High consumption of apples and other white-fleshed fruit like pears, bananas, and cauliflower reduced people's likelihood of a stroke by 52% in a new Dutch study, the Daily Mail reports. Red/purple, orange/yellow, and green fruits had no effect on stroke chances for the 20,000 participants.

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Fruit and vegetable skin color reveals the presence of helpful phytochemicals like carotenoids and flavonoids, researchers say. Apples and pears are high in a flavonoid called quercetin; they're also high in dietary fiber. But researchers warn not too draw too much from the findings, which are based on food frequency questionnaires that may not be reliable. They also caution against eating all-white fruits and veggies: "Other fruits and vegetable color groups may protect against other chronic diseases," one researcher says. (Read more apple stories.)

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