Fruits and vegetables help prevent strokes

Fruits and vegetables help prevent strokes
17 November

World Stroke Day was celebrated on October 29. Strokes are the second cause of death in Spain and the first among women. It affects 120,000 people each year and is the leading cause of disability in adults.

According to experts, one out of every six people in the world will suffer a stroke, however, 80% of cases could be avoided if the risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, etc.) were controlled and a healthy lifestyle with adequate nutrition was maintained.

The key: fruits and vegetables rich in potassium

According to several studies, increasing the consumption of potassium through fruits and vegetables helps prevent heart disease and strokes.

The Spanish Federation of Societies of Nutrition, Food and Dietetics (FESNAD) has performed a study to determine the recommended daily amount of potassium, which is estimated at 3.1 grams per day.

But which foods are richest in potassium? We can classify them into three levels:

  • Superior (>1.000 mg/100 g): dried apricots and peaches, dried plums, wheat bran, white beans, chickpeas, soy and soy flour and pistachios.
  • Very high (500-1.000 mg/100 g): dried fruits (dates, figs, raisins), nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, seeds and sesame), avocados, bran cereal, beans, quinoa, wheat germ, lentils, potatoes, cereal coffees (malt and similar).
  • High (200-500 mg/100 g): vegetables in general (spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, pumpkin, beets, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage …), fruits (bananas, grapes, berries, berries, raspberries, apricots, cherries, figs, melon, medlar, kiwis, oranges, mangos), oats, muesli, beans, brown rice.


Recommendations for stroke prevention

In addition to the intake of fruits and vegetables rich in potassium, experts recommend:

  • Practice moderate daily exercise, such as walking
  • Follow a Mediterranean diet, rich in healthy fats
  • Reduce the consumption of fats of animal origin, hydrogenated and trans
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid stress

As we get older, the risk of having a stroke increases. However, it is shown that a proper diet can not only help to reduce the chances of suffering this type of brain injury but also minimize its damage.