According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one American dies from a stroke every four minutes. This is devastating news, but fortunately, reexamining your diet and eating more white fruits and vegetables can help with stroke prevention.
A stroke occurs “when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.” There are many risk factors for strokes. Some of the most common risks include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. In fact, the CDC reports that 49 percent of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors. Fortunately, up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. And studies show that changing your diet (and reducing stress) can definitely help.
White Produce and Stroke Study
New research conducted over a 10-year period concludes that eating at least 25 grams of white fruits and vegetables a day reduces the risk of stroke by nine percent. The report also finds the risk of stroke incidence to be 52 percent lower for people who eat more white fruits and vegetables over those who sparsely add white fruits and vegetables to their diet.
This study was conducted by Dutch researchers Wageningen University in the Netherlands with the help of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment of the Netherlands. Over 20,000 people between 20 and 65-years-old participated in this study.
Lead researcher, Oude Greip, divided fruits and vegetables into four color groups based on their flesh portion. Those groups include green, orange/yellow, red/purple, and white. Research participants that consumed foods in the white group were the only ones to show a statistically significant decrease in the risk of stroke.
White Fruits and Vegetables You Should Be Eating
The white fruits and vegetables are colored by flavonoid pigments called anthoxanthins. Anthoxanthins range in color from white/colorless to creamy/yellow. An example of white flesh fruits and vegetables are listed below.
- Fruit: Bananas, apples, pears, guava, white nectarines/peaches, dragon fruit, and dates.
- Vegetable: Cauliflowers, cucumbers, garlic, jicama, mushrooms, potatoes, turnips, onions, and artichokes.
Previous research indicates multiple health benefits for individual white fruits and vegetables. For instance, garlic contains allicin, which lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and exhibits antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. In addition, white vegetables such as onions and white fruits such as pears contain phytochemicals that protect people from certain cancers (colon and breast). Potatoes and bananas are a good source of potassium for strong hearts and muscles.
Bonus. Stroke prevention is crucial, but it’s also important to know the basic signs of a stroke episode, so you can help a loved one if they have a medical emergency. Consider learning more from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stroke Scale listed here.