Enjoy Your Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Heart


Research Shows Genetic Changes When Adding More Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Heart

We all know that eating more fruits and vegetables is part of a healthy diet.   Research now shows that these healthy foods also appear to decrease our risk of heart disease by actually modifying our genetic code.(1)  A comprehensive diet and gene heart study published October 2011 in PLoS Medicine recently concluded that people with high-risk gene mutations who ate at least two servings of raw fruits ,vegetables and berries each day had a similar risk of heart disease as those with low-risk versions of the gene.

“Our research suggests there may be an important interplay between genes and diet in cardiovascular disease. Future research is necessary to understand the mechanism of this interaction, which will shed light on the underlying metabolic processes that the 9p21 gene is involved in.”   Lead author, Dr. Ron Do

10 Easy Ways to Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is easy with a little planning.  Here are 10 tips I use every day that help my whole family eat better:

  1. Add whole fruit or berries to your breakfast.  A handful of blueberries or strawberries is great over breakfast oatmeal, quinoa, or yogurt.
  2. Stuff an omelet with vegetables.  Adding peppers, onions, tomatoes, and other veggies turns eggs into a complete meal.
  3. Add some variety to your morning  smoothie.  Use your favorite meal replacement shake as the base and add fresh or frozen berries, mixed fruit,  or banana.  Check out some Heart Smart Smoothie recipes.
  4. Place a bowl of colorful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for a snack on the run. I keep bowls of apples, oranges and bananas on the kitchen counter.  You’d be amazed how quickly that fruit disappears.
  5. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side-dishes, lunch box additions, or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner.  Ready-to-eat favorites: red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or while radishes.
  6. Exchange cut veggies and hummus for that chips and dip.
  7. Add color to your salads: Berries and mandarin orange slices are great, as are grape tomatoes and carrot slices.  Be inventive!
  8. Add vegetables to your sandwiches.  Ripe avocado makes a yummy spread instead of mayonnaise, and sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumber and tomato add both crunch and flavor.
  9. Make salad a main dish of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables.  Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soybeans) for protein.  Squeeze fresh lemon wedges on the salad for a quick, low calorie dressing.
  10. Grill colorful veggie  kabobs with tomatoes, green and red peppers, onions, and mushrooms.  Perfect as the weather gets a bit warmer this spring and summer.

Do you eat 5 or more more fruits and vegetables everyday?  Share some tips that you use to increase the number of servings of these colorful and flavorful foods.  I’ll pass your tips on to my readers.  :~)

Live Well!


flying robin



1. PLoS Med. 2011 Oct;8(10):e1001106. Epub 2011 Oct 11. The effect of chromosome 9p21 variants on cardiovascular disease may be modified by dietary intake: evidence from a case/control and a prospective study.Do R, Xie C, Zhang X, Männistö S, Harald K, Islam S, Bailey SD, Rangarajan S,
McQueen MJ, Diaz R, Lisheng L, Wang X, Silander K, Peltonen L, Yusuf S, Salomaa V, Engert JC, Anand SS; INTERHEART investigators.

5 thoughts on “Enjoy Your Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Heart”

  1. I try to eat a lot of veggies, but I usually end up with just one or two pieces of fruit and some veggies.

    I usually carry an apple with me instead because it is a good pick me up. Today I wanted something different though. I have snap peas in my bag to take with me out and about today.

    I think it would help if my fridge had a spread like the photo at the top of this post. Ha!

  2. I’d like to add what I have learned about the differences in organic vs. conventional produce.

    It seems to me that eating food sprayed with chemicals like Roundup really defeats the purpose of eating vegetables. I know many people believe you can wash off pesticides, but instead those chemicals actually change the DNA of the food you are eating so it is in fact part poison.

    There is also the health risk for those that wok in the farms and get our food to us. I know that pesticides can cause liver damage, asthma and birth defects for agricultural workers and their families.

    Of course most people don’t have organic produce in their budget. What fruits and vegetables do you suggest people eat concerning the price of organic and conventional?

  3. I eat organic when we can, but there are pesticide chemicals in the air that contaminate even them. On the positive side, actually HUGE strides have been made since the 70s in reducing chemical exposure. Most of the worst pesticides are no longer used…. that being said, the chemical companies keep coming up with others that are untested… what a mess!
    The bottom line, though, is that it is still much healthier to eat whole foods, fruits and vegetables, instead of any processed foods or fast food. I would hate to see people avoid fruits and vegetables because of such fears.

    You can pick and choose which foods that are more important for eating organic. As a rule of thumb, anything that you peel (like an orange) has a lower likelihood of contamination. Pay more attention to buying (or growing) organic greens, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, and berries.

    I like to buy most of my produce from local farmers if at all possible. I also grow some myself, but have a bit of a shade problem. ( I love my trees)

  4. One other problem is the food that is grown that has been genetically modified to resist Roundup..
    but that’s another story.

  5. I think this Blog can help a lot for those people who wants to be healthy as well as me.. :)

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