If you smoke you may want to pay special attention to your diet. Yes, of course - we all know there are certain things in life that go perfectly with a cigarette. A hot cup of coffee is the perfect match. Or a cold beer on a summer's day. Or... Well, you get the picture. But...
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden say there are actually other foods that smokers should pay attention to. Foods rich in magnesium. Foods such as whole grains, vegetables, black beans, broccoli, peanuts, and spinach. These foods, their study shows, reduce the risk of stroke for smokers.
The group followed over 26,000 males smokers for a little over 13 years. Those who consumed the highest levels of magnesium, an average of 589 milligrams each day, had a 15% lower risk of cerebral infarction. This is the type of stroke that occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is blocked. Though the study looked only at men, women are also seriously impacted by stroke. In 2004, women accounted for over 60% of deaths due to stroke.
The researchers say magnesium helps lower blood pressure, and may also help reduce cholesterol. They also come down, once again, on the side of real food. The study participants derived their magnesium from whole foods, and the scientists are unsure whether supplements hold the same benefit.
The best step to take is to quit smoking. But, if that's simply beyond your grasp at this moment, then take the next best steps. Take a walk, get some fresh air, and be sure to stop by the market while you're out. Carry home a couple bags of magnesium rich foods. The exercise will do you good, and the magnesium just may save your life...To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To learn more about magnesium, see this comprehensive discussion from The World's Healthiest Foods.