Eating magnesium-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts and whole grains is tied to a lower ischemic stroke risk, say researchers in Stockholm.

They analyzed past studies that included 241,378 people consuming at least 242 mg a day of magnesium. Of the participants, 6,477 suffered strokes. These statistics led the authors to conclude that for every extra 100 mg of magnesium consumed each day, ischemic stroke risk was reduced by 9 percent.

They also stressed that the results suggest a link but don't establish one and that the benefits were gained from food, not supplements. U.S. guidelines recommend 320 to 420 mg of dietary magnesium a day.

Potassium & Stroke Prevention

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According to our sister publication REMEDY's Healthy Living Winter 2014, eating potassium-rich foods such as sweet potatoes and spinach may reduce stroke risk in postmenopausal women. Researchers found that women ages 50 to 79 who had the most potassium in their diets were 21 percent less likely to suffer a stroke than women who ate less potassium.

A diet high in this mineral may be important for helping to maintain normal blood pressure. Other potassium-rich foods include bananas, white beans, pomegranates, and fish.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 95, p. 362; Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50; Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 15 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 22 Dec 2014