Eating fruits & veggies lowers stroke risk?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Fruit and vegetable consumption positively impacts overall cardiovascular health, which significantly reduces the chances of stroke.
WHAT WE KNOW
Each year in the United States, more than 795,000 people have a stroke. Stroke kills almost 130,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 out of every 19 deaths. This means that on average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.1
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
A recent study revealed that individuals whose diets contain higher levels of fruits and vegetables are less likely to have a stroke.2 The design of this study is known as a meta-analysis, or a compressive overview of many studies that are analyzed and summarized into one key finding. This particular meta-analysis included 20 studies with more than 760,000 participants – a significant number of people! This is important to recognize because the more participants included in a study, the more likely it is that the researchers will be able to detect effects.
In this case, researchers were exploring the relationship between diet and stroke. The study found that risk of stroke decreased by 32% and 11% for every 200 grams (about 1 cup) per day increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, respectively. The results showed that increased fruit and vegetable consumption lowers blood pressure, which is a major factor in influencing a person’s risk of having a stroke. Fruit and vegetable consumption positively impacts overall cardiovascular health, which significantly reduces the chances of stroke.
Worldwide, the number of stroke cases in younger adults ages 20 to 64 years has increased by 25% during the last 2 decades.3 In order to reverse this trend it is imperative that positive health behaviors are adopted early in life to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
How to Get Enough Fruits & Veggies
Your recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is based on age and gender. For example, active men need more servings than sedentary women, and adults need more servings than girls and boys. It can be difficult to determine how many cups of fruits and vegetables you consume, mostly because produce comes in such varying shapes and sizes that don’t always neatly fit into a measuring cup. What Does a Serving of Fruit or Veggie Look Like?
Once aware of your fruit and vegetable needs, the best way to begin consuming more is to have more readily available in your home. Shopping seasonally offers unique fruits and veggies, reduces the cost of produce, and adds variety to your diet. See What’s In Season
After you stock up, explore our Fruit & Veggie Recipe Database to inspire your family’s menu!
“Stroke Information.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mar. 2014. View Article
Hu, D., J. Huang, Y. Wang, et al (2014). “Fruits and Vegetables Consumption and Risk of Stroke: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.” Stroke.
doi: 10.1161/ STROKEAHA.114.004836. View Abstract
Brooks, Megan. “Global Stroke Burden on the Rise in Younger Adults.” Medscape Multispecialty.
30 Oct. 2014. View Article