Increasing the intake of antioxidants in the diet is associated with a reduced risk of stroke in women, according to a study, published in the journal Stroke. Antioxidants from fruits, vegetables and whole grains may lower the total risk of stroke among women with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and hemorrhagic stroke in women with a history of heart problems.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said “Eating antioxidant-rich foods may reduce your risk of stroke by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammation,” said Susanne Rautiainen, who led the study. “This means people should eat more foods such as fruits and vegetables that contribute to total antioxidant capacity.”
They found that women in the highest group of dietary antioxidant intake, and with no CVD, had a 17% lower risk of total stroke compared to those in the lowest group. Further, they reported that women with history of CVD in the highest three-quarters of antioxidant intake had up to a 57% lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
Fruits and vegetables contributed about 50% of antioxidant capacity in women with no history of heart disease who had the highest total antioxidant count. Other contributors included whole grains (18%), tea (16%) and chocolate (5%).
Reference: Stroke; Published online ahead of print.