Heli J. Roy | 3/21/2005 11:16:43 PM
It has been thought for some time that diet is related to strokes. LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Heli Roy says there’s now evidence that fruits and vegetables help protect against stroke.
In the July 2003 issue of "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," a large-scale study in
Data were collected on dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, red meat, omega-3 fatty acids, alcohol and cholesterol. Individuals were divided into five groups according to fruit and vegetable consumption. The intake of fruits and vegetables was reported in grams of fruits and vegetables a day, roughly equal to one fruit or vegetable in group 1, two in group 2 and so on.
The incidence of stroke was highest in the group with lowest fruit and vegetable intake and lowest in the fifth group with highest fruit and vegetable intake.
Citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and other fruits (other than citrus) were particularly effective in reducing the incidence of stroke. All fruits were more effective than vegetables.
It was thought that fruits and vegetables eaten raw, such as lettuce, oranges and other fruit, were more effective than cooked fruits and vegetables. The LSU AgCenter nutritionist says that usually isolating a single ingredient may not prove to be effective, but vitamin C content of citrus fruits may be the reason they were effective.
Garlic and onion did not have as significant an effect in this study, she added, but the garlic intake was very low in this population.
"This study clearly shows the protective effect of consuming fruits and vegetables and prevention of stroke, a serious and debilitating illness," Roy says, adding, "Consuming fruits and vegetables in their natural state, that is, raw, may be even more protective than consuming only cooked vegetables."