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.






REDUCE THE RISK OF STROKE!

Knowing your stroke risk factors, following your doctor’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. If you’ve had a stroke or a TIA, these measures may help you avoid having another stroke. Many stroke prevention strategies are the same as strategies to prevent heart disease. In general, healthy lifestyle recommendations include:
-Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension). One of the most important things you can do to reduce your stroke risk is to keep your blood pressure under control. If you’ve had a stroke, lowering your blood pressure can help prevent a subsequent transient ischemic attack or stroke. Exercising, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting the amount of sodium and alcohol you eat and drink are all ways to keep high blood pressure in check.
-Lowering the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, may reduce the plaque in your arteries.
-Quitting tobacco use. Smoking raises the risk of stroke for both the smoker and nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke. Quitting tobacco use reduces your risk of stroke.
-Controlling diabetes. You can manage diabetes with diet, exercise, weight control and medication.
-Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
-Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A diet containing five or more daily servings of fruits or vegetables may reduce your risk of stroke.
-Exercising regularly. Aerobic exercise reduces your risk of stroke in many ways. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, increase your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, and improve the overall health of your blood vessels and heart. It also helps you lose weight, control diabetes and reduce stress. Gradually work up to 30 minutes of activity — such as walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling — on most, if not all, days of the week.
-Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all. Alcohol can be both a risk factor and a preventive measure for stroke.
-Treat obstructive sleep apnea, if present. Your doctor may recommend an overnight oxygen assessment to screen for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).






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.