Fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals that are vital for health and maintenance of our body. Some of its essential nutrients are potassium, fiber, vitamin C, folate (folic acid), and phytochemicals that are being studied for added health benefits. They are also naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories.
In a large-scale study in JAMA Oncology which was led by Dr. Rowan Chlebowski of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) and his team, results have shown that eating more fruits and less fat can lower down a woman’s risk of mortality from breast cancer.
For the study, nearly 49,000 women ages 50 to 79 without breast cancer in the 1990s were followed for over two decades. At the start, participants were divided into two groups and were getting the following:
1st group – given with regular counseling sessions and told to limit fat to 20% of calories and to eat more vegetables, fruits, and grains.
2nd group – continued their usual eating habits.
The low-fat group failed to achieve its target of 20%. However, they brought their intake down to 24% after one year and maintained about 30% following eight years.
After 8 years, 1,767 participants in the 1st group tested positive for breast cancer. Their overall survival rate was 82 percent, which was higher than the 78 percent shown by the conventional diet group.
At the end of the study, healthy women who started eating the diet (more fruits and reduced fats) have lowered this risk of dying from breast cancer by 21% as compared to their counterparts who maintained less healthy eating habits.
Experts suggest that to lower the dangers of breast cancer, women should have a combination of healthy eating, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying active.
Other Benefits Of Having A Well-Balanced Diet
A well- balanced diet promotes growth and repair, helping us to stay strong and healthy and help to prevent diet-related illnesses, such as some cancers. We must keep in mind that deficiencies in some key nutrients – such as vitamins A, B, C and E, and iron, selenium, and zinc – can weaken parts of our immune system thus making us more prone to various health problems.
Heart Health – A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy can help maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels which in turn reduces our risk of heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes – Along with a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fiber can lower down our chances of having this condition.