Harvard Health Letter

In Brief: What if it were fruit or vegetables?

In Brief

What if it were fruit or vegetables?

When it comes to fruit and vegetables, we usually can have our apples and eat our carrots, too. But what if you had to pick one over the other? Fruit might be the better choice, according to some recent research.

Harvard researchers analyzed Nurses' Health Study data to see whether fruit and vegetable consumption was related to colorectal polyps, common precursors of colorectal cancer.

After some statistical slicing and dicing, they found that a high-fruit diet (five servings a day or more) significantly lowered (by about 40%) the risk of polyps, but a vegetable-stocked one did not. Further analysis pointed to citrus fruit as especially protective. Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, soybeans) were also polyp deterrents.

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