Eating foods high in vitamin C, such as strawberries, peppers or broccoli, may be linked to a reduced risk for stroke, Medical News Today reported.

In a study to be presented later this year at The American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting, researchers analyzed data from 65 patients who had experienced hemorrhagic strokes – comparing them to 65 healthy patients. Hemorrhagic strokes, which are relatively rare, occur when a weakened blood vessel ruptures, causing blood to leak into the brain.

Both groups underwent blood testing to measure their vitamin C levels. Overall, 41 percent of participants had normal levels, 45 percent had low levels and 14 percent had levels so low they were considered to be vitamin C deficient, according to Medical News Today.

On average, people who had experienced a stroke had lower levels of vitamin C, while people who had not experienced a stroke demonstrated normal levels of the vitamin.

"Our results show that vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke, as were high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being overweight in our study,” said study author Dr. Stéphane Vannier, of Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France.

The researchers suggest vitamin C may help reduce blood pressure, which could explain why it appears to be linked to a reduced risk for stroke.

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