A few walnuts in your daily diet could give you all the natural protection you need against stroke, new research has discovered.

Scientists have found that the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid can reduce the risks of a stroke dramatically.

The acid is found in foods such as walnuts and vegetable oils like soy bean and canola.

Conversely, they also found that stearic acid, found in animal products and chocolate, increased the risks of a stroke.

A research team from the University of California in San Francisco compared two groups of 96 middle-aged men: one group had had a stroke, and the other was healthy. When researchers carried out a blood test, they discovered that the risk of a stroke dropped by 37 per cent for every 0.13 per cent increase in alpha-linolenic acid.

Although they do not understand why this happens, they do know that omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent blood clots are generated by alpha-linolenic acids (JAMA, May 24, 1995).

Several types of drugs have been shown to slow recovery from stroke. The most common type to be tracked by researchers were the benzodiazepines, which seemed to impair patients for three months following a stroke far more than usual. Other drugs associated with a slower recovery include some antihypertensives, dopamine antagonists and anti-convulsants (Neurology, May 1995).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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