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05/04/2013

World Health Day raises awareness on hypertension and reminds the importance of a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables

On the occasion of the World Health Day on 7th April, which will see high blood pressure(hypertension) as its central theme, Freshfel would like to remind the importance of a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent and treat the disease.
 
Freshfel is promoting with its ‘Enjoy Fresh’ initiative for a long time the regular consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, one of the basic recommendations for a healthy diet and life. Fresh produce as such has a lot of benefits to offer, ranging from fibre and vitamins to minerals etc. Its high water content or the lack of sodium make them great allies for maintaining normal blood pressure levels. Unfortunately, on an aggregate EU-27 basis, the current consumption patterns are slightly below the WHO’s 400 g/day minimum recommendation, and well below that threshold in too many Member States, as Freshfel’s Consumption Monitor shows. Adequate consumption of fruit and vegetables helps in preventing obesity and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, various cancers etc.

The World Health Day reminds this year especially on the risk of hypertension, the leading risk factor for deaths worldwide. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can also cause blindness, irregularities of the heartbeat and heart failure. The risk of developing these complications is higher in the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes. One in three adults worldwide has high blood pressure.

However, high blood pressure is both preventable and treatable. The risk of developing high blood pressure can be reduced by eating a balanced diet, reducing salt intake, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, taking regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding tobacco use. Fresh produce has therefore certainly an important role to play.

 

More information can be found on WHO’s website: http://www.who.int/world-health-day/en/

Commissioner Tonio Borg is also giving a personal note on the topic here.

Visit our website dedicated to
kids, parents and teachers:
www.kidsenjoyfresh.eu.

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