About 4 out of 5 strokes in the US are ischemic strokes, which occur when arteries feeding the brain are blocked by fatty deposits or blood clots, cutting off the blood supply to areas of the brain. Symptoms of stroke, such as paralysis, muscle weakness and loss of the ability to speak, reflect the area of the brain that has been starved of blood. Men and women who eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day are less likely to suffer from ischemic stroke, the most common form of stroke, than those who eat fewer than three servings a day.
Looking at both men and women, the researchers found that the risk of ischemic stroke was 31% lower in women who consumed a median of 5.8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and in men who consumed a median of 5.1 servings per day, than it was in women or men who consumed less than three servings of fruit and vegetables per day. The lowest risk of ischemic stroke overall was found in men and women who ate the most of certain types of vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts, as well as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. The research team also found that for each increase in the number of servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the risk of ischemic stroke in men and women dropped by a combined average of 6%. No further reduction in stroke risk was seen beyond six servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
The Journal of the American Medical Association October 6, 1999;282:1233-1239.
COMMENT: Yet another reason to increase the vegetables.