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New Study Finds Fruits and Nuts To Lower First Time Stroke Risk

It has long been known that keeping your weight at a healthy level and eating nutritious foods can assist in reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke in men and women of all ages, but recent studies have found that by eating Mediterranean diets, and actively participating in exercise you can lower the risk of a first time stroke quite significantly. This information was recently published in the journal of the American Heart Association, which is entitled, Stroke. These were updates that were added to the AHA/ASA guidelines, which were previously published; it gives those looking to prevent this serious problem a fighting chance.

Preventing New Strokes

Risk factors for strokes are generally noted as having to do with weight, genetics, blood pressure, level of activity, as well as a number of other causes, and this is a big new opportunity to find additional information on how we can control some of the risks associated with first time strokes. Some of the risks that have been updated include oral birth control, smoking, and second hand smoke. One new prevention method is a Mediterranean style or DASH diet, which includes a variety of supplemented nuts. The emphasis in these diets is on fruits, vegetables, seeds, poultry, whole grains, fish, and nuts, with a reduction of red meat and saturated fats. This means avoiding butter, cheese, and many other animal based products when possible. Lead researcher in this latest effort, D. Meschia has said the following as quoted by Science Daily: “Talking about stroke prevention is worthwhile. In many instances, stroke isn’t fatal, but it leads to years of physical, emotional and mental impairment that could be avoided.”

Other methods to lower the risk for stroke include regularly monitoring your blood pressure at home or in the office of a physician with a cuff monitor. You should also make lifestyle changes through diet and exercise to reduce pre-hypertension, and reduce sodium in your diet. Once a year it’s a good idea to visit your health care provider for a screening of stroke related characteristics, and be serious about any medication that has been prescribed for lowering blood pressure; if it isn’t working right, speak to a doctor and have it changed.

How The Study Was Formulated

The latest study on this matter was conducted over a period of nineteen years and included 760,629 volunteers, both men and women, who had a combined number of 16,981 strokes throughout the nineteen years. This was conducted in Europe, Asia, and the United States. What they learned was that the risk of a stroke was decreased by up to thirty-two percent when two hundred or more grams of fruit and two hundred grams of vegetables were consumed on a daily basis. Yan Qu, lead author who works at the intensive care unit in the Qingdao Municipal Hospital In Quingdao, Chine has been quoted by heart.org in saying: “Improving diet and lifestyle is critical for heart and stroke risk reduction in the general population. In particular, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is highly recommended because it meets micronutrient and macronutrient and fiber requirements without adding substantially to overall energy requirements.”

The study proved that fruit and vegetables lowered the blood pressure of those involved in the research, and also assisted in microvascular functionality. Other benefits included weight loss, lowering of cholesterol, and a better BMI. Both men and women of the study experienced beneficial results and there was no difference in age young or old.

Fiber and Low Fat Diets Are Best

The DASH diet can help many men and women across the United States and globally introduce better eating habits to their families. With this style of eating incorporating all of the nutrients recommended for the best possible healthy living, it will not only reduce the chance for stroke, but increase the chance of a long life. Lead author, Dr. Qu has also said the following in regards to the study’s findings, as reported by Medscape: “Citrus fruits, leafy vegetables and apples/pears were found inversely associated with risk of stroke. However, the effect of other types of fruit and vegetables on stroke risk still needs to be confirmed”

Following the study the World Health Organization released a bulletin outlining the importance of vegetation in a regular standard daily diet, and that roughly 600 grams of fruit and vegetables can decrease the chance of ischemic stroke by nineteen percent globally. This is a huge number when you consider how many people are in the world, and the large number that are affected by strokes each year.

While changing dietary habits can sometimes be tricky, the results are worth the effort, and with a carefully outlined eating plan you can get yourself and your family into shape in no time. Accompany your healthy eating with some daily exercise and you’ll be looking at a longer happier life.

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