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A Pear a Day Keeps the Stroke Away

The month of June is dedicated to Brain Injury Awareness. One such injury is a brain attack or a stroke. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is compromised, depriving the brain of oxygen. Nerve cells in the affected area die within minutes. This means that the part of the body controlled by these cells can’t function and often these are permanent effects. On average in Canada one stroke occurs every 10 minutes. What if you could decrease your risk of a stroke by half?

A study conducted in the Netherlands that followed 20,000 middle-aged men and women over 10 years found that people who ate more white fleshed fruits and veggies were 52% less likely to have a stroke compared to people who ate the least amount of ‘white’ food (1). Green, red or purple, and orange or yellow fruits and vegetables had no statistically significant link to a decrease in stroke risks. To reap these benefits try adding more bananas, apples, pears, cauliflower, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, and garlic to your diet. They also found that for every 25-gram increase of white fruits and veggies consumed each day, the risk of stroke decreased by 9% (1). The average apple is 120 grams and a banana is 115 grams. You do the math!

Although this is exciting, the researchers explain how this was an observational study, so it doesn’t prove cause and effect. It is still recommended to eat a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables (see our website link below for our Taste the Rainbow Newsletter). However, this study will make you appreciate white food and hopefully encourage you to increase your consumption if you are lacking. An easy way to do that is to make this yummy smoothie:

Brain Summer Smoothie (2)

  1. Put in a little water.

  2. Add organic apple, or pear (or a bit of both). - skin on, seeds removed

  3. half a banana

  4. one pitted date

  5. handful of organic, baby spinach or kale (a good ratio is 40% greens, 60% fruit)

  6. Add more water, if necessary.

  7. Blend until smooth.

  1. Oude Griep et al. Colors of Fruit and Vegetables and 10-Year Incidence of Stroke. 2011;(42):3190-3195.

  2. Terry Small the Brain Guy. Brain Bulletin #82 –Best Summer Brain Smoothie.

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