A world-first study shows the link between poor nutrition and the development of multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease

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Up your intake of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains and your long-term health  will reap the rewards in more ways than previously thought.

A new study conducted by the University of Adelaide has found that eating an increased amount of fruit will reduce your chances of developing any chronic disease, and a high intake of vegetables will prevent people with one chronic disease from developing a second. Investigating the connection between  diet  and hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, anaemia, stroke, fracture, cancer, hypercholesterolemia, hepatitis and coronary heart disease, the research published in the Clinical Nutrition journal is a world-first in linking poor nutrition to the development of multiple chronic diseases, (also known as ‘multimorbidity’).

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With over 1000 Chinese people studied over a five-year period, the research also highlighted the importance of micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, vitamin C and B1, phosphorous and potassium in disease prevention and whole grains too. It was found that healthier participants ate a wider range of grains outside of wheat and rice. These included quinoa, millet, barley, oats and rye.

Speaking to the  Mail Online , co-author Dr Zumin Shi explained that this was because these are grains more likely to contain dietary fibre and less likely to be refined. He noted, “If you look at the intake of whole grains, the highest intake of whole grains is among those who stay healthy over five years.”