A new study suggests that older women who eat foods with higher amounts of potassium may be at lower risk of stroke and death than women who consume less potassium-rich foods.
Researchers studied 90,137 postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79, for an average 11 years. They found that women who ate the most potassium were 12 percent less likely to experience a stroke in general and were 16 percent less likely to have an ischemic stroke than women who ate the least.
Dr Shamim Quadir, Research Communications Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “We all know that a healthy diet is important for anyone who wants to reduce their risk of stroke. Previous research has suggested that at any stage in life, increasing how much potassium we eat could be beneficial in reducing blood pressure; the single biggest risk factor for stroke.
“This latest study suggests that eating foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, broccoli and dates, could help lower the risk of stroke amongst women aged 50 and over. However, the findings also indicate that, for women aged 50 and over who have high blood pressure, a potassium-rich diet will not be enough to reduce their risk of stroke.
There are many simple steps people can take to reduce their stroke risk, such as exercising regularly and giving up smoking. Anyone with concerns about their stroke risk should have a chat with their GP.”