Consuming a diet rich in fruits
and vegetables may significantly reduce the
risk of stroke, but a most people aren't eating
anywhere near the recommended amount for maximum
benefit, according to a British medical journal.
In fact, people who eat three to five servings
of fruits and vegetables slashed their risk
of getting stokes by 11 percent compared to
those folks who eat less than three servings,
cardiovascular epidemiologists say in the Jan.
28 issue of The Lancet.
An analysis of eight studies involving more
than 250,000 adults found that people who ate
more than five servings of fruits and vegetables
daily slashed their risk of having a stroke
by 26 percent, compared with people who ate
only three daily servings. In the period of
the study, only 4,917 strokes were reported.
However, Dr. Lyn M. Steffin, an assistant professor
at the University of Minnesota's School of Public
Health wrote in a commentary along with the
study that the typical American only eats 3.75
servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
The new findings match the current dietary
guidelines from the American Heart Association
and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. The Lancet study
also comes on the heels of recent reports that
omega-3 fatty acids failed to affect the levels
of bad and good cholesterol, and triglycerides-three
main culprits of stroke and heart disease. The
heart association also reported that soy protein
fails to lower blood pressure, another culprit.
But in The Lancet, researchers at London's
St. Georges University bolstered the age-old
advice that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
are good. Experts said the study gives clinicians
ammunition to talk to patients about eating
fruits and vegetables rather than gorging on
diets of hamburgers and cheeseburgers.
Further analysis showed that diets rich in
fruits and vegetables reduce the risks of hemorrhagic
and ischemic strokes in people who consumed
more than five servings daily. Eating three
to five servings only cut the risk of ischemic
The most common type of stroke, an ischemic
("is-skeem-ic") stroke occurs when
an artery to the brain is blocked. A hemorrhagic
stroke occurs when an artery within the brain