Fruit and vegetable consumption and the risk of hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies

Eur J Nutr. 2023 Aug;62(5):1941-1955. doi: 10.1007/s00394-023-03145-5. Epub 2023 Apr 27.


Purpose: A high fruit and vegetable intake has been associated with reduced risk of hypertension; however, results have been inconsistent and it is unclear whether specific types of fruits and vegetables are particularly beneficial. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to summarize the published prospective studies on fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of hypertension.

Methods: Embase and PubMed databases were searched for relevant prospective studies up to 15th May 2022. Random effects models were used to calculate summary relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of hypertension. Strength of evidence was assessed using World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) criteria.

Results: Eighteen prospective studies (451 291 participants, 145 492 cases) were included. The summary RR (95% CI) of hypertension per 200 g/day was 0.97 (0.95-0.99, I2 = 68%, n = 8) for fruits and vegetables, 0.93 (0.89-0.98, I2 = 77%, n = 10) for fruits, and 1.00 (0.98-1.02, I2 = 38%, n = 10) for vegetables. Reductions in risk were observed up to 800 g/day for fruits and vegetables, and 550 g/day for fruits, and these two associations were considered probably causal using WCRF criteria. Inverse associations were observed for apples or pears, blueberries, raisins or grapes, avocado, broccoli, carrots and lettuce, while positive associations were observed for cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, cruciferous vegetables, and total and fried potatoes (n = 2-5).

Conclusion: A high intake of fruit and vegetables combined, and total fruit was associated with reduced risk of hypertension, while results for fruit and vegetable subtypes were mixed and need further study.

Keywords: Fruits; Hypertension; Meta-analysis; Prospective studies; Vegetables.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brassicaceae*
  • Diet
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Hypertension* / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables