Statins: How the drug prevents heart attacks and strokes
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Even though stroke strikes every five minutes, according to Stroke Association, this medical emergency may be prevented. Lifestyle changes ranging from a healthy diet to regular exercise can lower your risk of this life-threatening condition. Express.co.uk spoke to a dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton about one particular addition to a stroke risk-lowering diet. She explained how this reduces your risk and how much you need to drink.
Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Fruit Juice Science Centre, has revealed orange juice to be a great choice as it can lower your risk of stroke by 15 to 20 percent.
The ingredients beneficial for your cardiovascular health packed in orange juice seem to be polyphenols and potassium.
Dr Ruxton said: “Clinical studies show that fruit juice polyphenols – such as hesperidin in orange juice or anthocyanins in berry juices – relax blood vessels by downregulating key genes responsible for inflammation and oxidative stress.
“Fruit juice polyphenols also promote genes and metabolic pathways that relax blood vessels.
“Studies show that fruit juice provides a similar benefit to whole fruit when it comes to lowering stroke risk.”
When it comes to potassium, the doctor explained it has the ability to lower blood pressure. And high blood pressure readings can increase your risk of stroke.
How are blood vessels linked to stroke?
Stroke has two main causes, both of which affect the supply of blood to the brain.
One of these causes refers to so-called haemorrhagic stroke, where a weakened blood vessel supplying your brain bursts.
As the doctor explained, polyphenols in 100 percent fruit juice can relax your blood vessels, which also reduces blood pressure and can lower your overall risk of the medical emergency.
The other cause of stroke is ischaemic, in which a blood clot is the culprit, blocking the brain’s blood supply.
How much juice do I need to drink?
Dr Carrie Ruxton noted: “We should aim to have one 150 millilitre (ml) glass of fruit juices daily and get the rest of our five-a-day target from vegetables and whole fruits.
“It isn’t harmful to drink more fruit juice – in fact, some studies provide up to 500ml daily – but we should remember that fruit juice is a source of natural sugars and calories so one daily glass is best.”
She added to pair your glass of orange juice with meals that can increase your iron absorption and will be “kinder” to your teeth.
What type of juice do I need to drink to see the benefits?
The doctor explained that the research showing the health benefits has been done on 100 percent orange juice and the goodie in it – polyphenol called hesperidin.
If you’re worried about sugars, the doctor added that all the sugars in 100 percent fruit juice come from the fruit, so sticking to one glass a day can offer all the benefits you need.
“Both long life and fresh juices contain vitamin C, potassium and polyphenols which means that all types can offer benefit,” Dr Ruxton said.
The one thing to avoid when shopping for this stroke-lowering drink are fruit drinks and cordials as they don’t offer the same benefits as 100 percent fruit juice.
The dietitian added: “Drinking a daily glass of fruit juice is a simple step to better cardiovascular health.
“But it’s also important to avoid smoking, maintain a healthy body weight, reduce salt in the diet, eat your five-a-day vegetables and fruit, and take regular exercise.”
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