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New Study Suggests Citrus Fruits May Reduce Risk of Stroke in Women

A recent study conducted by European and U.S. scientists indicates that consumption of flavonoid-rich foods like citrus fruits can reduce the chances of stroke in women. Previous studies had indicated that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduced the occurrence of strokes but the reason was unknown. This study has linked that reduction to a specific component, flavanones, which occur primarily in citrus fruits.

For the study, researchers analyzed the flavonoid intake of 69,622 women from the U.S. based Nurses’ Health Study, which has followed nurses since 1976 to assess risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer. The study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the findings were published online in the February issue of the journal, Stroke. Women who consumed diets rich in citrus fruits had a 19% lower chance of ischemic (blood clot-related) stroke than women who did not. The study also found that women who consumed more flavonoid rich foods also tended to:

  • Exercise more
  • Smoke less
  • Consume less caffeine and alcohol
  • Consume more fiber, folates, fruits and vegetables

The study is important because of the consequent implications. It has allowed a more intricate understanding of the food components associated with strokes in women. Previous studies had found similar results without pinpointing actual causation. The study only emphasizes the benefits of consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Though juice can help, it is important to eat whole fruits and vegetables to get the additional fiber, minerals and vitamins. As with anything, a healthy diet supplemented with exercise is the best protection against health conditions such as stroke.

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