When you think "white," think under the skin (e.g., apples, pears and bananas, plus cauliflower, onions, garlic and cucumbers). In an impressive new stroke study, apples and pears were all-stars because they accounted for more than half of the white produce people ate, and the white stuff is what slashed stroke risk.
While eating lots of fruit and vegetables has long been linked to fewer strokes, this is the first effort to pinpoint which produce gets the credit.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Keep that old rhyme in your head! The people in this big, long study (10 years, 20,000 men and women) cut their stroke risk 9% for every 25 grams of white produce they ate. Here's how apples size up (approximately) to some other white foods:
- Medium apple: 180 grams
- Banana: 115 grams (Bananas also do your brain good in other ways.)
- 1 cup of raw cauliflower: 100 grams
- 10 slices of cucumber: 70 grams
Surprisingly, the three big, brightly colored groups (green, orange/yellow and red/purple) of fruits and veggies didn't affect stroke rates at all, though their colorful pigments protect you from many other diseases, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Why are white foods so protective of your brain? That's not clear yet. No need to wait for scientists to figure out the reasons, though. With the exception of rock-hard pears and apples, white fruit can only do your body good.