A customer looks at bananas in a supermarket in Sydney April 27, 2011
A customer looks at bananas in a supermarket in Sydney April 27, 2011 Reuters/Daniel Munoz

A study published in the American Heart Association journal found that bananas could help lower the risk of strokes in women, post-menopause. The study suggests that food products rich in potassium could help cut the risk by a quarter.

More than 90,000 post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 to 79 were studied by researchers for an average period of eleven years, reported Daily Mail.

The amount of potassium consumed, and whether the participants suffered from any strokes or if they died, were all recorded during the course of the study. At the beginning of the study, the participants were stroke-free, having an average potassium intake of about 2,500 milligrams a day. The study is only based on food rich in potassium and not supplements. A banana is said to contain about 430 milligrams of potassium.

The daily recommendation by the World Health Organisation is more than 3,500 milligrams of potassium for women, of which only 16.6 per cent of the participants of the study met or exceeded.

Those participants who ate the most amount of potassium had a 12 percent less risk of suffering from risk and 16 percent lesser chance of suffering from an ischaemic stroke, where the brain receives no blood, in comparison to those women who had the least amount of it.

Among the participants who had no cases of high blood sugar, women who ate the most potassium were at a 27 percent lower risk for ischaemic stroke in addition to a 21 percent lowered risk for all types of stroke.

For those who suffered from hypertension, a lower risk of death was noticed in those who ate most potassium but their intake of potassium had no affect on the risk of stroke. Women who ate a lot of potassium were at a 10 percent lesser risk of dying early in comparison to those who ate the least.

The senior author of the study from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller said that their findings suggest women need to eat more foods rich in potassium, which is not found in junk food. She said that white and sweet potatoes, bananas and white beans are potassium-rich foods.