FRUITS AND VEGGIES REDUCE STROKE

Did you know that eating up to five more servings of fruits and vegetables each day can reduce the risk of ischemic stoke in men and women by up to 30 percent? An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, representing 80 percent of all cases. It occurs when a clot forms in an artery leading to the brain, slowing or stopping the flow of oxygen-rich blood, causing part of the brain to die.
-What the Studies Show
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, found that men and women who consumed the highest amount of fruits and vegetables daily (an average of 5.1 servings per day among men and 5.8 servings per day among women) were found to have a 31 percent lower risk of suffering an ischemic stroke than those who consumed the lowest amount of fruits and vegetables daily (fewer than three servings per day). It was also noted that each additional serving of fruits and vegetables consumed daily results in a 6 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke. However, the researchers did not find any further reduction in risk beyond six servings per day compared with intake of five to six servings daily. One serving can be a medium piece of fruit; 1/2-cup of cooked, canned, or cut-up vegetables or fruit; a cup of chopped lettuce and other raw leafy vegetables; 3/4-cup (6 ounces) of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice; 1/2-cup of canned beans and peas; or 1/4-cup of fruit.
-Favorite Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables, which produced the most effective results, included, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, spinach, as well as citrus fruits and citrus juice. The study also emphasizes the need for a healthy life style to help reduce the risk of ischemic stroke. Fruit and vegetables in the diet will not reduce the risk as significantly for people who smoke or exercise infrequently.






TOMATOES MAY REDUCE RISK OF STROKE

Eating tomatoes in your daily salad or regularly enjoying a healthy red sauce on your spaghetti could help reduce your risk of stroke, according to research published this week in the journal Neurology.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant that is good for brain health, the researchers say, and cooked tomatoes seem to offer more protection than raw.
“This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke,” says study author Jouni Karppi, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. “A diet containing tomatoes… a few times a week would be good for our health. However, daily intake of tomatoes may give better protection.”
Karppi says it’s the chemical lycopene that gives tomatoes and other fruits/vegetables their rich red color, that is helping to protect the brain. Tomatoes are particularly high in the powerful antioxidant that acts like a sponge, soaking up rogue molecules called free radicals that if left unchecked can damage cells.
Lycopene has attracted a lot of attention in recent years because it’s such a powerful antioxidant. If we don’t eat enough lycopene-packed foods, experts suspect too many free radicals get left in the body, damaging blood vessels by helping to form fatty deposits. When these deposits build up, a blockage forms. If that vessel is in the brain, the blockage can cause a stroke.