A new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has seconded what the physicians have always recommended- a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can reduce the risk of strokes. The study, led by Susanna Larsson, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, focused its attention on dietary magnesium intake in relation to risk of stroke. It was seen that consuming a diet rich in magnesium was inversely related to the risk of stroke.
The researchers analyzed the results of seven prospective studies from January 1966 to September 2011, which included 241, 378 participants and 6477 cases of stroke. The participants were followed for an average of 11.5 years. Other confounding factors like family history of the participants were taken into account. The researchers observed that the risk of ischemic stroke fell by 9 percent for every extra 100 milligrams of magnesium consumed by the participants per day. On an average, the participants were consuming 242 milligrams of magnesium every day. However, according to the U.S. physicians, men over the age of 31 should be consuming 420 milligrams of magnesium per day whereas women should be consuming around 320 milligrams of magnesium per day.
The researchers have pointed out that as most of the studies used in the meta-analysis were observational in nature, it cannot be confirmed that it is magnesium in the diet which is responsible for the reduced risk of stroke. However, all physicians seem to agree with the fact that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains is good for the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health. This type of diet is relatively low on sodium while it contains a large amount of potassium and magnesium. Therefore, while further studies are required to confirm the role of magnesium, one can safely assume that a diet rich in greens can reduce the risk of developing an ischemic stroke.