article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2018
five million people die fromstrokeevery
year accounting for about 10 percent of total deaths.[i] But
those deaths can be cruel and lingering. In just moments, you can go
from happy, active, and productive to the helpless prisoner of a
stroke occurs as a result of a blockage within a blood vessel
supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 87 percent of all
stroke cases. Hemorrhagic stroke is usually caused by
uncontrolled high blood pressure. It occurs when a weakened
blood vessel ruptures.
shows that following a Mediterranean-type diet can be a first step
to prevent stroke. In a recent 10-year Swedish study of 32,921 womenpublished
in the journalAtherosclerosis,
researchers found that a modified Mediterranean diet cut the risk of
ischemic stroke by more than 22 percent.
diet was high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains,
fermented dairy products, fish, and monounsaturated fats. It
also included moderate amounts of alcohol and low consumption of red
are 9 healthy foods you can start eating right now to help cut your
risk of a deadly stroke.
panel convened by The Harvard Center for Risk Analysisconducted
a literature review to determine a dose-response relationship
between fish consumption and stroke risk. They concluded that eating
any fish at all lowered stroke risk by 12 percent compared to eating
none. And they estimated that stroke risk dropped an
additional 2 percent with each additional serving of fish per
later study by Harvard researchers examined data from 43,671 men
Health Professional Follow-up Study, a US
prospective cohort study with 12 years of follow-up. It found
that compared to men who ate fish less than once per month, those
who ate fish one to three times per month had a 43 percent lower
risk of ischemic stroke. But eating fish five or more times
per week was not associated with any further risk reduction.
same is true for women. The
Nurses' Health Studyfollowed
79,839 women for 14 years. It found that compared to women who
ate fish less than once per month those who ate fish five times a
week reduced their ischemic stroke risk by 52 percent. Eating
fish two to four times per week reduced risk by 27 percent, and
eating it once a week lowered risk by 22 percent.
choose your fish wisely. Yetanother
Harvard studyfound that eating
tuna or other broiled or baked fish one to four times per week
reduced ischemic stroke risk by 27 percent compared to eating it
once a month. But people who ate fried fish or fish sandwiches
more than once a week had a 44 percenthigherischemic
stroke compared to those who only ate those types of fish less than
once per month.
of eight studiescovering 304,551
participants found those with the highestmagnesiumintake
had a 12 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke and an 11 percent
lower risk of total stroke compared to the lowest intake.
a recent study in theAmerican
Journal of Clinical Nutritionlinked
magnesium to lower rates of stroke in women.
Harvard researchers examined data from 86,149 women in the Nurses’
Health Study I and 94,715 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. In
up to 30 years of follow-up they found that women getting the most
magnesium had a 13 percent lower risk of total stroke compared to
women getting the least. They also found that for each additional
100 mg. of magnesium woman consumed every day, risk dropped 13
are similar for men. Harvard researchers examined data from
42,669 men in theHealth
Professionals Follow-up Study. During 24
years of follow-up they found that men who got the most magnesium
from food reduced their total stroke risk by 13 percent compared to
those getting the least. Those getting their magnesium from
supplements reduced their total stroke risk by 26 percent. And those
getting a mix of dietary magnesium and supplements reduce their risk
by 17 percent.
recent study in theInternational
Journal of Cardiologyfound
that magnesium lowers blood pressure as well as total stroke risk.
In a cohort study from the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation
into Cancer)-Norfolk cohort, men with the highest magnesium intake
significantly reduced their systolic blood pressure by 7 mmHg and
their diastolic pressure by 3.8 mmHg.
Swiss chard, and beet greens are excellent sources of
magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are also a very good source.
Fruits and Vegetables
and vegetables help prevent stroke. In a
recent prospective Swedish study of 74,961 people over 10 years,
those eating the most fruits and vegetables had a 13 percent lower
risk of total stroke compared to those eating the least. Specific
fruits and vegetables that stood out included apples, pears, and
fruit intake was linked with a 35% reduction in risk of total stroke
in men and a 25% reduction in women. Fruit was equally strong
for both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
of 20 prospective cohort studiesfound
those eating the most fruits and vegetables had a 21 percent lower
total stroke risk compared to those eating the least.
Vegetables were more powerful than fruits. The drop in
stroke risk for vegetables was 23 percent compared to 14 percent for
fruit. But for every 200 extra grams of fruit, stroke risk
dropped 32 percent compared to 11 percent for every 200 extra grams
another study using data from 39,337 people in the Life Span Study,
Japanese researchers found that eatinggreen
and yellow vegetables and fruits cut stroke risk.
During an 18-year follow-up people who ate green-yellow vegetables
every day had a 26 percent decrease in risk of death from total
stroke compared to people who ate them only once a week or less.
Ischemic stroke was cut 32 percent in men and 30 percent in women.
and vegetables may protect against stroke because they help lower
blood pressure and have antioxidant effects. They are also rich
sources of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, beta carotene,
potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate, and fiber. In another
meta-analysis of 71 studies in the journalStokethehighest
blood levels of lutein were linked to an 18 percent drop in
strokescompared to the lowest.
and vegetables highest in lutein include:
Red and green
Zucchini and yellow
a case-control study of 374 ischemic stroke patients and 464 control
subjects in Chinatea
drinking was linked to lower stroke rates. Make
it a habit. People who drank tea most frequently cut their
stroke risk by 39 percent while those who had the tea habit for the
most years cut their risk by 60 percent.
published online inNeurologyFrench
researchers suggested that olive oil would be an inexpensive and
easy way to help prevent stroke in people over 65. Based on
medical records of 7,625 people ages 65 and older they found that
intensive use of olive oil reduced stroke risk by 41 percent
compared to not using olive oil at all. “Intensive use” of
olive oil included using it for both cooking, as a salad dressing,
and as a dip for bread.
of the study subjects used extra virgin olive oil. Other studies
have found thatextra
virgin olive oil, obtained from the first pressing
of the olives, is healthier than oil labeled "virgin olive oil" or
just "olive oil." This is because the extra virgin oil contains
higher levels of anti-inflammatory compounds which protect against
recent case-control study of 374 ischemic stroke patients and 464
controls found those eating the mostsoy
cut their risk of stroke by 77 percentcompared
to those eating the least. Forms of soy studied included dried
soybeans, tofu, and soymilk.
power of soy may lie in its isoflavone content. AJapanese
studyfound that women with the
highest isoflavone intake cut their ischemic stroke risk by 65
percent compared to the lowest intake. And those eating soy (beans
and miso) more than five times a week reduced their risk by a lower
36 percent compared with those eating soy twice a week or less.
from Cambridge University conducted a meta-analysis of seven
chocolate studies including 114,009 participants. They found
that people eating the mostchocolate
cut stroke risk by 29 percentcompared
to those who ate the least.
from Columbia University analyzed alcohol use in 464 people in theAortic
Plaques and Risk of Ischemic Stroke (APRIS) study.
They found that a smaller percentage of stroke patients (35.5
percent) engaged in light to moderate alcohol use (between 1 drink
per month and 2 drinks daily) compared to the healthy controls (60.3
percent). They also found that alcohol consumption at any
level was inversely associated with atherosclerotic plaque in the
aorta, which is associated with increased stroke risk. The
authors suggested that this reduced plaque in the aorta might
explain why moderate drinkers have a lower risk of ischemic