Eating fruits and vegetables is vital to your health. But knowing the right ones to seek out may help lower your risk of having a stroke even more.

These Essential Foods May Lower Stroke Risk by 32% or More

In All Health Watch, Blood Pressure, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Heart and Cardiovascular, Stroke

New research out of China gives you yet another reason to eat your fruits and veggies…

Experts looked at 20 different studies. All told, they accessed data from 760,629 men and women. They found that for every 200 grams of fruits and vegetables subjects ate per day, they lowered their stroke risk by up to 32% and 11% respectively. And it worked at any age.1

These findings are important to say the least. Stroke is the leading cause of death in China. And even though it’s not the #1 cause here in the U.S., it still ranks as the fourth-deadliest killer. It’s also one of the top causes of disability.2 If lowering risk is as simple as eating more fruits and veggies, it could change how mainstream medicine goes about preventing stroke. It’s certainly good news… But the study is leaving out a few very important points.

Most important: The fruits and vegetables you choose to eat may help lower your stroke risk even more.

These researchers cited studies from the United States, Europe, China, and Japan. But the standard diets in these regions vary greatly. Fruits that are popular in the U.S. and England aren’t necessarily what people are eating in Japan. For instance, citrus fruits like yuzu and sudachi—similar to lemon and lime—are hard to find stateside. But they’re common—and very popular—in Japan.3 So not everyone in each study they looked at was eating the same stuff. But that’s not the only reason those details are important.

Not all fruits have the same impact on your health. Just look at blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. They’re all high in anthocyanin. It’s a compound that gives these fruits their vibrant colors. It’s also a powerful antioxidant with major ant-inflammatory power. It helps fight the oxidative stress that can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It may also be why researchers found fruit was more effective at lowering stroke risk than vegetables.

One study of 157,000 people found that eating blueberries just once a week lowered their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10% over 14 years. And controlling your blood pressure may be one of the single most important things you can do to avoid a stroke.4

That’s not the only study, either. Another study found eating three servings of anthocyanin-rich foods—like these berries—each day for 18 years may lower heart attack risk in women by 34%.5 But it’s not just anthocyanin that can help you lower your stroke risk.

Fiber is also vital to help avoid a stroke. But most people don’t get close to enough. That’s a shame too. Researchers in a previous study found that every seven grams of fiber you eat in a day can help lower stroke risk by up to 7%.6 In other words, the more of it you eat, the lower your risk may be.

But don’t get your fiber from grains. They’re inflammatory and may actually raise your stroke risk. Besides, you’ll find more fiber in artichokes, raspberries, peas, and blackberries than almost any grain. Eating these foods will provide you with the fiber—and even anthocyanin—you need to help prevent a stroke.

Eating fruits and vegetables every day will help lower your risk of having a stroke. But eating the right ones—high in fiber and anthocyanin—may help drop your stroke risk even lower. Remember, not all fruits and vegetables will give you this benefit. And where you get them from makes a difference.

Always look for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. You may even want to stock up on frozen organic fruits and veggies. Just be sure to avoid the canned and frozen varieties that come packed in syrup or contain preservatives.

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