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Veggies, Fruit May Lower Women's Stroke Risk
Date:12/2/2011

ich foods may reduce your risk of stroke by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammation," first author Susanne Rautiainen, a doctoral student at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said in a journal news release. "This means people should eat more foods such as fruits and vegetables that contribute to total antioxidant capacity."

Other experts agreed.

"We've known for a long time that including antioxidants in the diet can have a positive effect on a variety of conditions, and there is no downside to including more of these foods in your diet," said Karen Congro, a nutritionist and director of the Wellness for Life Program at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City.

"It would be very helpful to test these findings in a large clinical trial to determine how a high antioxidant diet impacts stroke," she added. "Since antioxidants are anti-inflammatories, their inclusion in a diet can have a positive impact for people at risk for a variety of conditions."

And one heart expert noted that diet, not supplements, may remain the best source of antioxidants.

"This [heart-healthy] diet was highest mostly in fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, tea and chocolate, whose antioxidant capacity, including vitamin C and E, carotenoids, and flavonoids have a beneficial effect," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She noted that although many prior trials "did not show benefit of antioxidant supplementation, clearly a diet high in antioxidants may provide protection against cardiovascular disease."

More information

The National Stroke Association has more about women and stroke.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: Karen Congro, R.D., CRN, nutritionist and director, Wellness for Life Program, The Br
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