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The Rak Foundation

New reasons for women to love their fruits and vegetables

FoodFacts.com is always looking for information that will enrich and enlighten the lives of all our community members. So when we saw this important information for women we knew we needed to post about it here.

A new Swedish study published just yesterday is showing that diets rich in antioxidants from fruits, vegetables and whole grains appear to reduce a woman’s risk for stroke — even if she has a prior history of heart disease. The study involved more than 31,000 women with no history of heart disease and almost 5700 women who had a history of heart disease. All the women involved were between the ages of 49 and 83 and they were followed for eleven and a half years (those with no heart-disease history) and almost 10 years (history of heart disease).

During the study period, more than 1300 of the women in the disease-free group had strokes and more than 1000 in the group with a heart-disease history also suffered them. Each woman’s dietary information was used to determine her individual “total antioxidant capacity” or TAC.

In the heart-disease free group, the women with the highest levels of diet-based antioxidants had a 17 percent lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest levels. But most impressively, it was found that the benefits of antioxidant-rich diets were extended to the group with a history of heart disease. Within this group, women with higher levels of dietary antioxidant capacity had up to a 57 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those with the lowest levels.

Researchers found that fruits and vegetables contributed about 50% of the antioxidant capacity in women with a disease-free history. Of course the study also showed that the women who had the highest levels of antioxidants in both groups were also women who adhered to healthier lifestyles extending beyond their regular diets to include regular exercise and avoidance of smoking.

Of course, we at FoodFacts.com always knew there was a good reason our mothers always told us to eat our vegetables. This new Swedish research simply confirms they were right all along.

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