Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Diet high in antioxidants shown to cut stroke risk in women

Women who eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains can cut their risk of having a stroke by 17 per cent, according to new research.

Posted : 13 December 2011

The National Stroke Association study, published in Stroke, reveals that a diet high in antioxidants can also lower the risk for women with a history of heart disease and stroke by 17 per cent.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden surveyed 31,035 without heart disease and 5,680 with a history of heart disease and measured the amount of antioxidant-rich food and drink they consumed.

More than 11 years later, 1,322 women in the first group had suffered a stroke, and 1,007 in the second group.

The results show that women who eat diets loaded with antioxidants can cut their chances of having a stroke by 17 per cent – even if they have a history of cardiovascular trouble – compared to women who ate the least amount of antioxidant-rich foods.

For women in the high-risk category, a diet high in fruit and veg also cut the risk of haemorrhagic stroke – where ruptured blood vessels in the brain cause bleeding – by 45 per cent.

Antioxidants soak up harmful free radical molecules in blood that have been linked to many health problems including heart disease and stroke.

“Eating antioxidant-rich foods may reduce your risk of stroke by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammation, ” says the report’s first author, Susanne Rautiainen. ” This means people should eat more foods such as fruits and vegetables that contribute to total antioxidant capacity.”

Read the report

Press enter or esc to cancel