Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are leading global health problems. Accumulating epidemiological studies have indicated that consuming fruits was inversely related to the risk of CVDs. Moreover, substantial experimental studies have supported the protective role of fruits against CVDs, and several fruits (grape, blueberry, pomegranate, apple, hawthorn, and avocado) have been widely studied and have shown potent cardiovascular protective action. Fruits can prevent CVDs or facilitate the restoration of morphology and functions of heart and vessels after injury. The involved mechanisms included protecting vascular endothelial function, regulating lipids metabolism, modulating blood pressure, inhibiting platelets function, alleviating ischemia/reperfusion injury, suppressing thrombosis, reducing oxidative stress, and attenuating inflammation. The present review summarizes recent discoveries about the effects of fruits on CVDs and discusses potential mechanisms of actions based on evidence from epidemiological, experimental, and clinical studies.
Keywords: cardiovascular disease; coronary heart disease; fruit; hypertension; mechanisms of action; stroke.