The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) study followed 10,000 individuals that were at risk for developing strokes. The participants found that increased levels of vitamin E significantly lowered their risk over the four year study. Cardiovascular disease is a leading disease killer for men but especially females.

The Karolinska Institute in Sweden published an expansive survey that found diets that have high levels of antioxidants will reduce the incidence of strokes in women. A similar study in the medical journal Stroke found a diet high in antioxidants to reduce strokes in women by 57%

Antioxidant Rich Foods

The inability of the body to handle physical, mental and chemical stress produces free radicals that will damage tissues and cells. Antioxidants are heavily involved with the prevention of cellular damage. The molecules can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the destructive chain of events before irreversible damage occurs.

The principle antioxidants include vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Selenium is also included as it is a trace metal that is required for proper function of one of the body's antioxidant enzyme systems. The body cannot produce these micronutrients requiring one to eat a healthy. One of the richest sources of antioxidants is blueberries.

Vitamin E: d-alpha tocopherol. A fat soluble vitamin that can be found in nuts, seeds, fish oils and apricots.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that can be found in citrus fruits, natural juices, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries.

Beta-carotene: A precursor to vitamin A that is present in liver, egg yolk, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantaloupe and peaches.

Foods that have high levels of antioxidants neutralize free radicals in order to better preserve cells. These foods have been found to result in fewer blood clots and lower blood pressure. It is relatively common sense that healthier dietary choices will result in improved health and healing in the body versus a bad diet that is filled with fried, fatty foods.

For many years studies have investigated the role of diet and the incidence of heart disease and stroke. The “Mediterranean diet” has become the benchmark diet to prevent cardiovascular events from occurring. The Mediterranean diet can be characterized by a culture that eats high quality nutrients from fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish.

To best prevent and avoid heart disease and cardiovascular events one should limit the consumption of trans fats and processed saturated fats. These unnatural fats will facilitate free radical production and wreak havoc on tissues and cells of the body. Highly refined starches such as sugar and white flour will cause drastic fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels. The rapid fluctuations are associated with heart disease and stroke through inflammation, the oxidation of cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides.


Author's Bio: 

Cory Couillard has owned two private practices and has been the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Brand Officer for the largest privately owned clinic. He is active in professional development, mass education programs and implementation of healthcare delivery systems.

Cory is currently a professional healthcare speaker and writer for newspapers, magazines, websites and other publications. He is also involved with the development of two international television health programs.

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