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Eating citrus fruits may cut stroke risk
Eating citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit may help to reduce the risk of women having a stroke. A new research, which looked at a range of compounds called flavonoids, found that women who ate high amounts of citrus fruits had a 19 per cent lower risk of suffering ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least amount. Ischemic stroke occurs when the brain’s blood flow is blocked.
Flavonoids, a range of compounds which are present in foods including fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine, are thought to provide some protection against stroke through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and an anti-inflammatory effect.
The study involved researchers looking into a 14 years’ worth of data from a study of 69,622 women who reported their food intake, especially on details on fruit and vegetable consumption, every four years. It was conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Norwich Medical School in the United Kingdom.
The researchers reporting in the medical journal, Stroke, suggested that eating citrus fruits in particular, such as oranges and grapefruits, which are high in vitamin C, could help to lower one’s stroke risk. But they recommend that people eat the fruit rather than drink juices due to the high sugar content of commercial fruit juices.
Also, people who take medications should be aware that some citrus fruits, specifically grapefruit, can dangerously interact with medicines.
Despite the study’s praise for citrus fruits, the researchers caution that more work is still needed to confirm their findings.
Previous studies have also shown a link between increased consumption of white fruits like apples and pears with lowered stroke risk.
In addition, a study found that Swedish women who ate the highest levels of antioxidants — about 50 per cent from fruits and vegetables — had fewer strokes than those with lower antioxidant levels.
Similarly, past research has shown that flavonoids — which are also found in leafy greens and yellow, orange and red-colored fruits — could also help to lower the risk of heart attack in women with Type 2 diabetes, as well as combat insulin resistance and lower cholesterol levels.
Every six minutes, at least one Nigerian develops stroke. In Africa, the incidence of stroke is as high as 316 per 100,000 population per annum. Stroke occurs for reasons including undiagnosed, untreated or poorly treated hypertension, diabetes, cigarrette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, diet high in cholesterol, sedentary living, lack of exerise and heart problems.
Today, stroke is the leading cause for medical admission and more than 50 per cent of neurological admissions is from stroke.
People could reduce their risk of stroke by eating a healthy balanced diet that is low in saturated fat and salt, exercising regularly and ensuring that the blood pressure is checked and kept under control.Share
written by Hospital Management, March 01, 2012