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Lack of fruits and vegetables increases global heart disease burden American Heart Association
“The researchers conclude that population-based interventions to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables could lead to millions more years of healthy life worldwide.”

Fruit, vegetable, and legume intake, and cardiovascular disease and deaths in 18 countries (PURE): a prospective cohort study
Higher fruit, vegetable, and legume consumption was associated with a lower risk of non-cardiovascular, and total mortality. Benefits appear to be maximum for both non-cardiovascular mortality and total mortality at three to four servings per day (equivalent to 375–500 g/day).”

Fruits, vegetables, and legumes: sound prevention tools
“Summary: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for a third of all deaths….The most effective and sustainable preventive strategies should rely on healthy diet and lifestyle.”

Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies
“Conclusions: This meta-analysis provides further evidence that a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes, particularly from cardiovascular diseases. The results support current recommendations to increase consumption to promote health and overall longevity.”

Fruits and Vegetables Consumption and Risk of Stroke
A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies
“Conclusions—Fruits and vegetables consumption are inversely associated with the risk of stroke.”

Research related to lowering cholesterol

Dietary Alternatives to Taking Statins for High Cholesterol
Beans and vegetables are all packed with soluble fiber (not to mention vitamins and minerals) and this makes them a good food choice when going on a low-cholesterol diet.”

Eating fruit, veggies while young makes for healthier heart in midlife
CBS news
“…the results suggested that those who ate the most fruits and vegetables in their daily diets at the study’s start had a 26 percent lower odds of developing calcified plaque in their arteries 20 years later….”