5 Foods That May Help Prevent Stroke
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Besides minimizing common risk factors such as smoking and persistent unhealthy stress, you can help to prevent a stroke by adding magnesium-rich foods to your grocery cart. Researchers at the Swedish Karolinska Institute found that the risk for the most common type of stroke in older people, ischemic stroke – which occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain – was reduced by nine percent for each additional 100 mg of magnesium a person consumed each day. For any type of stroke, adding 100 mg of magnesium reduced the risk by eight percent. It is not known exactly how magnesium reduces the risk of stroke, but the researchers suggest that the benefits may be related to its ability to lower blood pressure.
Next time you are at the grocery or farmer’s market, load up on these magnesium-rich foods, leaning toward organic if possible:
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens, as well as broccoli
- Nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, with almonds and cashews being good nut choices
- Whole grain products such as brown rice, oat bran cereal and truly whole grain breads that are high in fiber
- Beans. Black beans are a particularly good source, providing 120 mg in one cup
- Fish. Halibut, oysters and scallops are all good sources of magnesium. Choose wild-caught or sustainably raised when possible