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Stroke risk

Researchers find side effect-free natural way to slash stroke risk by half

Monday, September 19, 2011 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: stroke risk, foods, health news

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(NaturalNews) It is common sense that eating a healthy diet should help prevent disease. But Big Pharma must surely have superior elixirs, pills, potions and shots when it comes to serious prevention of the big killer diseases like stroke, right?

If the drug companies have a prescription drug, without any side effects, that can slash the risk of a stroke by 52 percent, please write and let NaturalNews know - because we can't find it anywhere in the scientific literature.

Instead, we've found a mountain of evidence from peer reviewed studies showing that natural substances in food can help prevent and heal a multitude of illness. And now there's another dramatic finding that shows eating an abundance of certain foods can help protect against stroke -- specifically the white flesh of foods like pears and apples.

That's the conclusion of research just published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association by Dutch scientists. Earlier studies have already shown a strong association between a high consumption of fruits and vegetables and a lower stroke risk, but this is the first research to investigate links between specific vegetable color groups and stroke.

Why does color make a difference? Research has shown that the color of edible parts of veggies and fruits is a signal of the type of health building phytochemicals they contain (such as carotenoids and flavonoids).

The Dutch research team studied the link between fruits and vegetable color group consumption in 20,069 adults with an average age of 41 for about 10 years and documented how many of these people had strokes during this period. Before the study began, the research subjects were free of cardiovascular disease.

The study participants completed a 178-item food frequency questionnaire. It documented consumption of fruits and vegetables that were classified into four groups: green (including dark leafy vegetables, cabbages and lettuces), orange/yellow (mostly citrus fruits), red/purple (such as beets) and white (of which 55 percent were pears and apples).

During the decade of follow-up, 233 strokes occurred. The research subjects with the lowest risk of stroke turned out to be those who had the highest intake of white fruits and vegetables, compared to people with a low intake. Over all, they had an average of a 52 percent reduced risk of stroke.

"To prevent stroke, it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetables," Linda M. Oude Griep, M.Sc., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in human nutrition at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, said in a press statement.

"For example, eating one apple a day is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake." Other white flesh fruits and vegetables that appear to lower stroke risk include bananas, cauliflower, chicory and cucumber.

That doesn't mean other fruits and vegetable color groups aren't worth eating. Dr. Griep pointed out they may protect against other chronic diseases -- such as heart disease and cancer.

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