Wellness Corporate Solutions [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Can Eating Fruit Lower Your Risk for Stroke?
If you enjoy the sweet taste of a juicy piece of fruit, you could be lowering your risk for stroke. Apparently, some types of fruit are linked with a lower stroke risk. Remember the old saying about an apple a day? Here is more confirmation that it’s true along with news you’ll enjoy if you’re a fruit lover!
Stroke Risk and Fruit Eating Habits
A study published in the journal Stroke showed a link between fruit consumption and the risk of stroke. This study followed more than 20,000 adult Dutch men and women for a decade. When they did, they discovered that those who ate certain types of fruit were at a 52% lower risk of developing a stroke.
White vegetables and fruits with a white, fleshy interior were linked with a lower risk of stroke. Examples are pears, apples, cauliflower and bananas. These white fruits contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that may contribute to the lower risk of stroke. This study did not find that other fruits have the same stroke protective benefits of white fruits.
Why were white fruits better for stroke prevention in this study? White fruits are a good source of an antioxidant compound called quercetin. Some studies show quercetin helps lower blood pressure and protects against stroke and heart disease, although more research is needed to confirm this. Onions, red grapes, berries, tomatoes and parsley also contain quercetin. Based on some studies, this heart-friendly antioxidant also has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.
Reduce the Risk of Stroke by Eating a Heart-Healthy Diet
What’s good for your heart is also good for blood vessels including the ones in your brain. The best way to lower the risk of stroke is to control your blood pressure and cholesterol level, exercise, and eat a heart-healthy diet. A heart-healthy diet includes an abundance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and lean sources of protein along with limiting processed foods. Processed foods are usually too high in sodium to be heart and blood vessel friendly.
To reduce your risk of stroke eat more fruits and veggies with a white fleshy interior, but enjoy them with with veggies and fruits in a rainbow of colors – green, purple, orange, red and yellow.. The pigments in produce have antioxidant benefits that help protect the health of your brain and blood vessels. It’s a simple step you can take to reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease.
The Bottom Line?
Enjoy a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, but don’t forget to snack on white fruits, especially apples. Apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants that help to lower cholesterol levels and ward off inflammation in blood vessels that can lead to a stroke or heart attack. They’re also a crunchy and satisfying snack that’s low in calories. Find out how they help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.