Eating Protein May Prevent Strokes

By Courtney Flannery 2014-06-16 21:52:51
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If anyone in your family has ever had a stroke, you know it can be absolutely devastating to both the person who suffers from it and their caregivers. My grandmother and aunt both suffered massive strokes that left them basically incapable of taking care of themselves. It was very tragic and affected our entire family. And while no one wants to think about having one themselves, a new study has pointed to something that may be able to prevent strokes altogether.

According to Medical News Today, chowing down on protein may help you avoid having a stroke. Every year nearly 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke and nearly 137,000 of them will die as a result of having one, so any news that may prevent folks from having a stroke is huge. Strokes mostly happen when fatty plaques from eating crappy food builds up in your arteries and causes blood to not get to your brain. Some people are genetically predispositioned to strokes, but being overweight or having high blood pressure are two other factors.

The 254,489 participants in the study were followed for 14 years, a pretty lengthy amount of time. At the end of the research, the results showed that those with the highest levels of protein in their diet had reduced their stroke risk by 20%. They also found that for every 20 grams extra protein someone ate during the day, they reduced their overall likelihood by 26%. What's really encouraging is that these reductions in risk were taken even after factoring in things like smoking and high cholesterol.

So what could that mean globally? It could mean nearly 1.5 times fewer strokes every year across the world just from simple dietary changes. Protein naturally reduces blood pressure, so that could be why high protein diets chop risk so significantly. Another factor just might also be that people swapped bad foods for more healthy ones that were packed with protein, thus improving their diet. The research team does caution, however, that your protein should come from fish rather than red meat, which can actually increase your risk for stroke. So don't go joining a steak of the month club to try to reduce the likelihood of having a stroke.

So if it means adding an extra helping of sushi when I go out to dinner to protect my brain, I guess I can make that sacrifice. All joking aside, this study is pretty groundbreaking and even though it's still new and not going to work for everyone, the hope is that some people can avoid the horrible effects of having a stroke. So encourage those you love to eat a little better, and do yourself a favor and start really thinking about what you eat. Avoiding those tempting fatty , fried treats may actually end up saving your life.
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