What’s on the menu for dinner tonight? Some spaghetti? Or are you grilling up some steak in order to take advantage of the last few weeks of good cookout weather?
Well, get ready to go to the grocery store. Because I have a feeling your menu is about to change.
Not just for tonight, actually. You’re going to be rethinking your dinner line up for a few days a week so you can get plenty of this stroke-fighting entrÃ©e on the table.
You probably won’t be incredibly surprised when I reveal that the stroke-fighter is none other than one of our favorites-fish. An analysis of 15 studies involving almost 400,000 people from around the world reveals that eating fish regularly can lower your stroke risk up to about 12 percent.
Now, that was among people eating the most fish. On average, people who added three extra servings per week achieved a 6-percent drop in their risk. Researchers worked diligently to isolate fish consumption as much as possible-so other factors were eliminated, showing a cause-and-effect relationship between fish consumption and stroke prevention.
Oh, except people who tried to sneak in that fish through fish sandwiches and fried meals like fish and chips-no benefit there!
Six percent not sound like much, but it’s all about working the combinations. Start with plenty of fish (be sure it’s low mercury and wild-caught-and remember that fatty fish like salmon and herring offer the highest concentrations of omega 3s) and add eggs boasting extra omega-3s, walnuts, free-range beef, even dark chocolate-and you’re on your way to building a powerhouse of a stroke-prevention diet. Not to mention the other diseases these health-friendly foods can help prevent.
My point is-a little mindful menu planning trumps whatever lab-created chemicals drug makers want to shove down your throat in the name of disease prevention. Sure, it’s hard to plan meals in this hectic world-you should see the datebook I used to keep outlining every meal I made all week. It was helpful, but was one of the first things to go once life got too busy.
Now, I just do my best to make sure the fridge is stocked with fresh foods that cook up in a flash. After a busy day, it’s surprisingly easy to throw some salmon in the oven and toss together a spinach salad with some nuts and fresh veggies. Maybe it’s not easier than dialing the number of the take-out place down the street-but the rewards are so much greater.
Ms. O’Brien has written for Nutrition & Healing, Healthier Talk and a variety of other natural and alternative health outlets. She believes in the power of natural medicine and her goal is to open people’s eyes to the benefits of alternative and integrative medicine.
Christine is passionate about helping people help themselves without having to turn to harsh drugs or invasive surgeries.
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