Bananas ‘cut stroke risk for women after menopause’

Eating bananas could cut the risk of strokes in post-menopausal women, a study suggests.

Foods high in potassium could help lower the chance by as much as a quarter, it found.Bananas

Researchers studied 90,137 postmenopausal women, aged 50 to 79, for an average of 11 years.

They looked at how much potassium they consumed, and whether they had strokes or died during the study.

Participants were stroke-free at the start and their average dietary potassium intake was 2,611mg a day.

The World Health Organisation’s daily recommendation for women is 3,510mg or more. Only 16.6 per cent of those studied met or exceeded that.

Results of this study, published in the American Heart Association journal Report, are based on potassium from food, not supplements. A medium-sized banana contains around 430mg.

Women who ate the most potassium were 12 per cent less likely to suffer stroke in general and 16 per cent less likely to suffer an ischaemic stroke (where blood to the brain is cut off) than women who ate the least.

Among women who did not have high blood pressure, those who ate the most potassium had a 27 per cent lower risk of ischaemic stroke and 21 per cent reduced risk for all stroke types.

Of the women with hypertension, those who ate the most potassium had a lower risk of death, but potassium intake did not lower their stroke risk.

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