Fruits And Veg­eta­bles May Lower Risk Of PAD

Escalon Times - - LIVING -

Pain in the lower ex­trem­i­ties may be in­dica­tive of a con­di­tion called pe­riph­eral artery dis­ease, or PAD. The Na­tional Heart, Lung, and Blood In­sti­tute says PAD oc­curs when plaque builds up in the ar­ter­ies that carry blood to the limbs, head and or­gans, con­tribut­ing to ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis, or a hard­en­ing of the ar­ter­ies. Blocked blood flow and even­tual lim­ited oxy­gen sup­ply to these ar­eas can cause pain and numb­ness. When se­vere enough, PAD may lead to tis­sue death. Dis­com­fort due to PAD usu­ally oc­curs when a per­son is walk­ing or ex­er­cis­ing, be­cause the mus­cles are not get­ting enough blood dur­ing these ac­tiv­i­ties to meet their needs, says the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion. Those with di­a­betes may con­fuse pain with neu­ropa­thy, and the el­derly may think pain from PAD is a nor­mal sign of ag­ing and stiff­ness. When un­di­ag­nosed, PAD can lead to fur­ther com­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing in­creased risk for heart at­tack, stroke, and coro­nary artery dis­ease. Even am­pu­ta­tion of a limb may be nec­es­sary. How­ever, PAD is pre­ventable when tak­ing a few steps to improve diet. Ac­cord­ing to new re­search published by the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion, eat­ing more fruits and veg­eta­bles may re­duce the risk of devel­op­ing PAD, which af­fects an es­ti­mated 8.5 mil­lion peo­ple in the United States alone. Re­searchers ex­am­ined di­etary data from roughly 3.7 mil­lion men and women, with an av­er­age age of 65. Ap­prox­i­mately 6.3 per­cent of the sub­jects had PAD, and 29.2 per­cent in­di­cated they ate three or more serv­ings of fruits and veg­eta­bles each day. The dis­cov­ery was those who re­ported eat­ing three or more daily serv­ings of fruits and veg­eta­bles had an 18 per­cent lower risk of PAD than those who re­ported eat­ing less of these foods. The as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween fruit and veg­etable con­sump­tion and lower PAD risk re­mained even af­ter ac­count­ing for age, gen­der, race, smok­ing sta­tus, and var­i­ous car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors. Sat­u­rated fats, trans-fats and sodium can con­trib­ute to the for­ma­tion of plaques that lead to PAD. Re­plac­ing these foods with more veg­eta­bles and fruits that are nat­u­rally lower in sat­u­rated fats can help, as can in­creas­ing di­etary fiber con­sump­tion. One way to in­cor­po­rate these types of foods is to ad­here to a Mediter­ranean diet, which of­fers high pro­por­tions of legumes, fruits, veg­eta­bles; mod­er­ate amounts of fish and dairy; and lim­ited meat and meat prod­ucts. Pe­riph­eral artery dis­ease can be a warning sign of car­dio­vas­cu­lar trou­ble. Al­ter­ing one’s diet may help nat­u­rally pre­vent or treat this con­di­tion.

New re­search published by the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion in­di­cates eat­ing more fruits and veg­eta­bles may re­duce the risk of devel­op­ing PAD.

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