by Scott Davis
Academic researchers have found two minerals to be particularly effective at reducing the risk of stroke.
These are especially powerful at reducing this risk for people who struggle with high blood pressure.
There are nine tasty and cost-effective foods that contain high amounts of these minerals, and you can easily build into your daily diet to increase your chances of staying stroke-free.
A stroke occurs when there is an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain. Consequently, brain cells die rapidly due to the lack of constant blood supply, a problem that can leave the stroke sufferer either severely disabled or dead.
The main causes of a stroke are narrowed arteries, blood clots, and high blood pressure.
Scientists have discovered that potassium and magnesium significantly lower the risk of strokes, probably because they both lower blood pressure, which is one of the chief risk factors.
A huge study that had 34,670 women participants between the ages of 49 and 83 by the National Institute of Environmental Medicine in Sweden found, for example, that the intake of potassium and magnesium could indeed reduce the risk of stroke, especially in women with high blood pressure.
And in case the men are starting to feel left out, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School studied 43,738 men between ages 40 and 75 and reached the same conclusion: potassium and magnesium lowered the risk of stroke, particularly among men with high blood pressure.
It is relatively easy to stack your diet with these two minerals, as they are readily available in these foods:
From one cup of cooked spinach, you can obtain 180mg of magnesium and 180mg of potassium. Other dark, leafy green vegetables that are packed with both minerals include kale, collard, and Swiss chard.
One cup of cooked soya beans (usually sold as edamame) provides 150mg of magnesium, while a cup of cooked white beans can supply 170mg of potassium. Other good options for both minerals are black beans and kidney beans.
Creamy, tasty, and a great source of both potassium and magnesium. However, guacamole lovers who purée it will unfortunately lose almost half of both these minerals, but that still leaves them with over 100mg of each.
Mackerel is the best source of magnesium, while salmon walks off with the potassium prize. You can expect around 85mg from an average fillet.
With just under 100mg of magnesium and over 100mg of potassium, it is by far the most versatile fruit.
6. Brown rice.
It cannot get any easier to eat plenty of magnesium, with one cup of brown rice providing almost 200mg of it. Millet, which is a lovely whole grain that can double up as a breakfast cereal, is not far behind.
Squash, in all its many varieties, is a brilliant source of potassium, with one cup containing anything from 150mg to 200mg.
8. Pumpkin seeds.
A tasty mid-afternoon snack with one cup supplies more than 100mg of magnesium. Alternatively, you can mix pumpkin seeds with other magnesium-rich nuts, such as cashews, pine nuts, pecans, and almonds. Also, another snack high in magnesium is dark chocolate.
9. Potato and sweet potato skins.
While these do not sound terribly appealing, they are some of the very best sources of potassium. Either cook and eat the potatoes with their skins, or grate the skins into stews and soups where they will not be especially noticeable.
The recommended daily intakes are approximately 420mg for magnesium and 3,500mg for potassium.
If you eat 20% more of both, you will safely remain under the amounts where they become hazardous, while still giving yourself a good chance to remain stroke-free.
Supports optimal blood flow and capillary health.