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Eat Your Vegetables to Help Reduce Stroke Risk

Just like mom always said, eat your veggies! It is well known that vegetables carry crucial vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants that are an important part of any diet. As we explore the power of the humble vegetable, one group of researchers found its positive effect on reducing the risk of ischemic stroke.

The most common type of stroke is an ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blockage of blood supply to the brain. The study found no link between diet and hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or leaks blood. The lead study of the author, Megu Baden, M.D., Ph.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, emphasized that “many studies have shown that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of a variety of diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.”

The participants in the study were 209,508 individuals who did not have cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start. The participants were monitored for more than 25 years by the researchers. Participants completed a questionnaire every two to four years asking how often they consumed more than 110 meals in the past year on average. The participants were split into five groups based on the quality of their diet, with greater quantities of plant-based foods being preferred over all animal foods.

6,241 people had strokes during the study, with 3,015 having ischemic strokes and 853 having hemorrhagic strokes. For the rest of the populace, the type of stroke was unknown.

People who consumed the most healthy plant-based meals had a 10% lower risk of having a stroke than those who ate the fewest.

Here are some easy swaps to incorporate more of these stroke reducing foods in your diet including:

- Swap pasta noodles for zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash

- Swap your hamburger patty with a large portobello mushroom

- Swap your pizza crust for a cauliflower crust

- Swap smoothie ingredients to include spinach, kale, cucumber, or avocado

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