Ways to reduce the risk of stroke

Oct. 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM
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SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A recent study found 19 percent of stroke sufferers were U.S. adults ages 20-54 in 2005, but a food expert says there are ways to shop to reduce stroke risk.

"First off, create a shopping list. Creating a list ahead of time not only allows you to make meal plans for the days ahead but also helps you focus your grocery trip -- and with a list, you can expect the added bonus of savings of around 20 percent to 25 percent," Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said in a statement.

"Buy heart healthy antioxidant rich foods such as: tomatoes, oily fish such as salmon and sardines, green tea, carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, cocoa, dark chocolate, berries, apples and whole grains."

Research showed those who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a 39 percent lower risk of stroke than those who did not, Lempert added.

"Blue and purple produce like eggplant, plums, red cabbage and grapes are rich in anthocyanidins, which help lower risk of heart attack and stroke by dilating blood vessels; keeping the blood flowing freely," Lempert said.

Also included on your shopping list should be foods rich in essential fatty acids such as: unsalted nuts, olive oil, flaxseed, avocados, salmon, trout, sardines, herring and mackerel.

Garlic and onions are also important for heart health because they contain compounds that can help reduce cholesterol levels, Lempert added.

"As always, please consult your physician before making any changes to your diet," Lempert said.

In addition to eating healthier, quitting smoking as well as getting more active, helps reduce the risk of stroke.

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