Diet is likely to be an important determinant of cardiovascular disease risk. The initial evidence that fruit and vegetable consumption has a protective effect against cardiovascular disease came from observational studies. The protective mechanisms of fruit and vegetables may not only include some of the known bioactive nutrient effects dependent on their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and electrolyte properties, but also include their functional properties, such as low glycaemic load and energy density. Taken together, the totality of the evidence accumulated so far does appear to support the notion that increased intake of fruits and vegetables may reduce cardiovascular risk. It is clear that fruit and vegetables should be eaten as part of a balanced diet, as a source of vitamins, fibre, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Therefore, it may be more important to focus on whole foods and dietary patterns rather than individual nutrients to successfully impact on cardiovascular disease risk reduction.
Alissa EM, Ferns GA. Dietary Fruits and Vegetables and Cardiovascular Diseases Risk. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 57 (9), 1950-1962.