'Fruits work wonders on stroke too'
The benefits of eating fruits and veggies are all too well known and now a study has revealed that eating more than the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day can cut risk of stroke.
People who ate three to five portions cut the risk by 11 per cent compared to those eating fewer than three, the Lancet reported.
It was 26 percent lower for people who ate more than five servings, University of London researchers found in the study of data on more than 257,500 people.
The Department of Health says five or more daily portions cuts risk of heart disease, cancer and other problems. The researchers pooled data from eight studies from Europe, Japan and the US.
Lead researcher Dr Feng He said a diet including lots of fruit and vegetables was also likely to further reduce the risk of other forms of cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.
"It is a very important finding because it really shows that the quantity of fruit and vegetables you should be eating is more than five a day. We know that if you give people additional potassium it lowers blood pressure," Professor MacGregor said. "
Fruit and vegetables are full of nutrients such as Vitamin C, beta carotene and potassium as well as plant proteins and dietary fibre.
"By increasing to five servings a day from three you would increase your potassium intake by about 50 per cent" he added.
However, the researchers suspect that potassium may be the most important factor in preventing stroke.
Professor Gareth Beevers, from the Blood Pressure Association, said the study highlighted the need for health educators to provide clear, practical information about the sorts of foods which everyone should be eating.
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