Originally published October 23 2011
Research shows apples prevent stroke
by Duke Mansell
(NaturalNews) Strokes can occur at any age but three-quarters strike those over the age of 65. Many people are always on the hunt for the superfood that will protect them from degenerative diseases, and few are as scary as the aftermath of a stroke. If you survive, you are usually left with debilitating health consequences due to lack of oxygen to the brain, which can leave you mild health issues or requiring around the clock nursing care. Fruits and vegetables are staples of health and are sure to assist in prevention, but which are best for people specifically concerned with a pending stroke in terms of prevention?
A recent study from researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association indicates fruits with white flesh such as apples and pears can reduce the risk of stroke by 52%. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United states with over 143,579 people dying each year. Approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke annually meaning 650,000 survive their stroke and are left to suffer the post-stroke health conditions for the remainder of their lives. These post-stroke health conditions include (in no specific order): difficulty moving one side of the body and trouble speaking, which cause many mini-symptoms in and of themselves such as difficulty swallowing, aphasia (slurred speech or inability to speak at all), hemiplegia (weakness on one side of the body), or difficulty with bowel and bladder control. Some conditions do resolve depending on the severity of the stroke but worst case scenarios for survivors include loss of cognitive functioning equal to Alzheimer's, inability to walk or use appendages and never being able to speak again. All of these problems can be life altering if they are unable to return to normal post stroke.
This study compared vegetables and fruits of different colors to determine which would be most beneficial in preventing a stroke. The fruits and vegetables were broken down in color into the following groups:
-cabbages, lettuces and other dark green leafy vegetables
-orange and yellow colors, most of which were citrus fruits
-red and purple colors, most of which were red vegetables
-white colors, apples and pears making up 55% of the whites
The follow-up period was 10 years and the researches documented 233 strokes. They observed that strokes were not reduced in any significant manner by consumption of orange/yellow and red /purple fruits. However, vegetables and white fruits were found to lower the risk of developing stroke by 52%. A reduction of this size is significant considering the size of the study included 20,069 adults with an average age of 41 years old (none of whom had any cardiovascular disease when the study began).
Many people base a lot of their fruit and vegetable purchase on the dark colors of leafy greens and fruits because of the knowledge that they contain more antioxidants, but it appears white fruits also play an important part of the puzzle in lowering the risk of strokes. By increasing your white fruit and vegetable consumption by 25 grams there was a 9% reduction in stroke risk. On average an apple weights 120 grams, meaning for every quarter apple you eat you average close to 10% less chance of having a stroke.
These researchers indicated that further studies are needed to verify their work. If apples, pears and other fruits with white edible portions can reduce the risk of developing stroke by 52%, pass the apple pie please.
About the authorDuke Mansell is a personal trainer who maintains AlltheWayFitness.com, a website devoted to optimal health through functional physical training and organic living. Duke Mansell is a researcher of health and wellness. His client training emphasizes a whole foods approach to weight loss and fitness and utilizes functional training. Duke Mansell is a student of applied kinesiology, trained in muscle testing to address body issues from hormone disfunction to leaky gut. Duke Mansell is also completing a BA and Masters in acupuncture and medicinal herbs.
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