Eat more fruit and veg

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Eat more fruit and veg to STOP Stroke

Less than a fifth of adults know fruit and veg can prevent stroke.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the UK.

There are more than 100,000 strokes a year in the UK, that’s at least 274 strokes each day. The number of strokes has dropped significantly over the last 30 years but even so these numbers needn’t be so high.

Up to nine in ten strokes are preventable and over half of strokes are due to high blood pressure.

Therefore by managing high blood pressure and making some lifestyle changes you could significantly reduce your risk of stroke.

A low intake of fruit and veg is one of the main risk factors for high blood pressure and stroke but only 17% of adults questioned knew this.

While UK dietary recommendations advise an intake of five portions of fruit and veg a day (around 400g), the latest data from the Public Health England shows that we are struggling to reach this target. On average most UK adults (aged 19 to 64 years) consume four portions of fruit and veg a day and adults over 65 consume slightly more at 4.2 portions. Only a quarter of adults aged 19-64 reach the 5-a-day target compared to around a third of over 65s.

Recent research shows we should be eating more:

-        One recent study suggested increasing our intake to 600g (7.5 portions) could reduce ischaemic stroke by 19%.

-         Another study recommended increasing your intake to ten portions a day (800g) to reduce your risk of stroke by 33%.

Shefalee Loth, Nutritionist at Blood Pressure UK says:

‘Fruit and veg contains potassium which is great for lowering blood pressure and as a result your risk of stroke. They’re also high in fibre and low in salt and saturated fat so offer all-round health benefits. However setting what many consider an unachievable a target of 10-a-day could have the unwanted effect of putting people off. What’s clear is the more you eat, the lower your risk of health problems.’

Spring and summer are the perfect time to increase your intake with lots of lovely salads at BBQs and fresh berries available in abundance. How about an easy salad containing seasonal fresh peas, asparagus, spring greens, some purple sprouting broccoli and new potatoes dressed with a mint, lemon, honey and olive oil dressing.

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