Help stop a stroke with this b-vitamin

You’re blitzed with numbers and facts in everything you read.

It can be tough to make sense of any of it, but here’s a number that’s easy to understand.

The environment now causes 1 out of every 4 deaths, according to the World Health Organization and the number one culprit is a stroke.

That means the leading cause of death from the environment isn’t cancer, heart disease, injury, infections or other diseases. It’s stroke.

Weirdly, under “Strategies to reduce environmental disease burden,” the WHO doesn’t give any advice on reducing the risk for this number one killer. It only talks about using “cost-effective strategies” to reduce the risk from other problems that kill a tenth as many people.

We already know that having normal blood pressure keeps stroke risk low.

But you can lower stroke risk even further, especially if you already have hypertension or pre-hypertension, by adding foods high in folate — vitamin B9 — to your diet.

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Folate lowers stroke risk

Folate is crucial to proper brain function, the health of the blood vessels that supply your brain, and helping your body turn food into the fuel your brain uses to function.

Low folate is fairly common, so foods that have no nutritional value are often “fortified” with it. Harvard research tells us that the average American gets about 100 to 150 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid a day from fortified grain products. But grains give you synthetic folate (folic acid), and grains also raise your blood sugar, raising your risk for metabolic syndrome, which can give you high blood pressure… and you’re back where you started.

Also, 100-150 mcg is only a fraction of the RDI (recommended daily intake) of 400 mcg a day. Even if you got the full RDI it would be fine to prevent deficiency, but it’s way too low for optimal health.

Beans have the most folate; asparagus, turnip greens and broccoli have the most among vegetables; and citrus fruits also have folate. Your body is very good at converting this folate into the form necessary to cross the blood-brain barrier and benefit the brain and blood vessels where strokes occur.

If you must supplement, try to get at least 800 mcg a day, and take natural folate and not “folic acid” if you can. Remember that all the B vitamins are water-soluble, so your body doesn’t store them and you must replenish them often.

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Easy Health Options Staff

By Easy Health Options Staff

Submitted by the staff at Easy Health Options®.