Health & Fitness

The docs: Get your fruit

Even today’s millennials would have a hard time sitting still while listening to Little Richard sing, “Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom. Tutti frutti, aw rooty!” Tutti frutti was a popular ice-cream flavor at the time, and as corny as it sounds today, all fruit (that’s a rough translation from the Italian!) is as up-to-date a solution to America’s health problems as Little Richard was a solution to 1950 America’s low-key crooners.

A seven-year study of more than 500,000 Chinese adults found that consuming fruit regularly was associated with around a 33 percent reduction in death from cardiovascular problems. (The researchers focused on China because many Chinese, especially in the poorer rural areas, eat very little fruit compared to folks in more affluent areas. When fruit is introduced into their diet the health improvements are more easily seen.) According to the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, low fruit consumption is one of the leading causes of premature death (before age 70) in China.

Clearly, eating fruit daily is essential for overall health. It not only provides your body with fluids and energy, fruits like apples and oranges also dish up phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber that boost your immune system and lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

So make sure you get at least two servings every day; we think four is even better. That’s a cup of mixed berries or cut up melon, an orange, an apple and a hearty handful of fresh grapes.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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