Prevent Heart Attacks by Eating Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Prevent Heart Attacks by Eating Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Let's say there's heart disease all over your family tree. You'd likely feel genetically doomed, right? That makes this good news even better: One of the most common causes of inherited heart disease is a nasty gene called 9p21, and research shows that what you eat can prevent a heart attack.

Just go to the grocery store and pile your cart with fresh vegetables and fruit. Something in fresh produce, especially veggies, turns this genetic bully into a wimp. What that something is isn't clear yet, but who cares? If heart disease runs in your family and 9p21 is why, eating lots of fresh veggies and fruit cuts your risk of the family heart attack so much that it's as if you didn't get the gene.

Here's another example: Say you and your neighbor have the gene. You're not a nutritional saint (dessert happens) but your diet is also packed with carrots, broccoli, spinach, berries, apples and artichokes. Your neighbor eats a typical American diet (meaty, sugary, salty, fatty). Your healthy eating lowers your heart attack risk. Your neighbor's? It doubles.

We YOU Docs have seen way too much heart disease. (Dr. Oz's first job description was cardiac surgeon; Dr. Mike's, anesthesiologist). We'd both love never to see a heart patient again. That's not so far-fetched. If every American stopped smoking, started walking, managed stress and ate a ton-o-veggies, heart disease could go extinct. Make it happen in your house.

Add these other healthy foods to your heart-smart grocery cart.

Medically reviewed in June 2019.

More On

What Causes Coronary Artery Disease?

video

What Causes Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease is the inflammation of the walls of the arteries. In this video, Jonathan Fialkow, MD, a cardiologist at Baptist Health South ...
Do the Benefits of Weight-Loss Surgery Outweigh the Risks?

video

Do the Benefits of Weight-Loss Surgery Outweigh the Risks?
With obesity dangers such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, it is clear that the benefits of weight loss surgery outweigh the risks, says...
Why Is Diabetes So Devastating?

video

Why Is Diabetes So Devastating?
From blindness to heart attacks, the serious risks associated with diabetes are nothing to take lightly. In this video, HealthMaker Samuel Klein, MD, ...
Should I Cut Carbohydrates Completely from My Diet?

video

Should I Cut Carbohydrates Completely from My Diet?
Not all carbohydrates lead to weight gain and an unhealthy lifestyle, but choices are very important, explains Jonathan Fialkow, MD, a cardiologist at...