A new study of Swedish women has found that women who regularly eat vegetables high in antioxidants may be less prone to having a stroke.

“The research has shown that the women participating in the study who consumed regular servings of fruit and vegetables to boost their intake of antioxidants, had a reduced chance of having a stroke,” said AUSVEG Senior Communications Officer, Courtney Burger.

AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body for 9,000 of Australia’s vegetable and potato growers.

Since September 2007 researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have monitored over 36,000 Swedish women aged between 49-83 years over a period of approximately 10 years to track the rate of strokes or stroke related deaths in the sample group.

The group contained a majority of women who had no prior cardiovascular disease but also included some women who were more likely to develop heart disease on account of their family history.

“Vegetables rich in antioxidants are those which contain high levels of vitamin C and E. as well as selenium and beta carotene, such as: spinach, broccoli, beetroot, capsicum, onion, corn and tomato,” said Miss Burger.

The American Heart Association attributes antioxidants with the ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress levels which may decrease an individual’s potential to suffer a stroke, while also reducing blood clots and blood pressure.

“This link between a vegetable rich diet and lessened risk of stroke in women furthers the multitude of health benefits already attributed to eating fresh vegetables,” said Miss Burger.

The women in the study who had the least chance of having a stroke obtained half of their antioxidant intake purely from fresh fruit and vegetables.

“The positives that come from including more fresh vegetables in your diet range from long term benefits such as this new research suggesting a reduced chance of stroke, to more immediate effects such as boosted energy levels or potential weight loss,” said Miss Burger.

“While this new study only examined women, it provides a clear message to all people – regardless of gender – that increasing your intake of antioxidant rich vegetables may be the key to improving your long term health,” said Miss Burger.


MEDIA CONTACT: Courtney Burger – Senior Communications Officer, AUSVEG Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0439 784 890, Email: courtney.burger@ausveg.com.au