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May 20, 2014

Eating Fruits and Veggies Reduces Stroke Risk

A review of 20 past studies found that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may reduce risk for stroke by nearly one-third.

Eating fruits and veggies could save your life, according to research published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Stroke.

Researchers reviewed 20 past studies that measured the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on stroke risk. Together, these studies included more than 760,000 individuals, documenting nearly 17,000 stroke cases during follow-up.

After comparing fruit and vegetable consumption among study participants, researchers found that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables drastically reduces stroke risk. For every 200 grams of fruit consumed a day, stroke risk decreased by 32% and for every 200 grams of vegetables consumed a day, risk for stroke dropped by 11%.

Unfortunately, few Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Current guidelines recommend filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, but according to the CDC, most Americans eat less than three servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Study findings highlight the importance of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables by reducing risk for stroke—the fourth leading cause of death in America. And there’s a wealth of research suggesting that a diet rich in fruits and veggies can promote a healthy weight and protect against heart disease, certain cancers and a number of chronic diseases. There’s no question that fruits and vegetables have a wealth of health benefits and it’s important that children and adults meet recommended dietary guidelines.

Questions for You to Consider

  • What are the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables?
  • Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories and contain a wealth of important nutrients, such as potassium, fiber and vitamin C. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet may help reduce risk of heart disease, cancer and other health conditions.


Heavy Drinking Increases Stroke Risk

Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks daily was linked to a 30% greater risk for stroke among study participants.

Mediterranean Diet Protects Against Stroke

The protective benefit of healthier eating is seen even when incorporating only parts of the diet.

Teleconferencing Improves Stroke Treatment in Rural Settings

Virtual medical consultations enable care from specialists in areas without comprehensive stroke centers.

Having a Sense of Purpose Protects Against Stroke

Maintaining a sense of purpose as we age imparts important health benefits.

Air Pollution from Major Roads Increases Risk of Stroke

Air pollution may cause the brain to age more quickly and impact its structure.

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