Drinking One Glass of This Per Day Can Slash Your Stroke Risk, Study Says
Studies show that this small lifestyle change can significant lower your chances of a stroke.
One of the most challenging aspects of managing your health is that you're constantly torn between juggling current conditions and taking preventative action to avoid other potential issues that may arise. Thankfully, there are plenty of small lifestyle changes you can make that can have a dramatic effect on your wellbeing. In fact, studies show that having just one glass a day of a drink you probably already enjoy can reduce your stroke risk. Read on to see what beverage you should be sipping daily.
Drinking one glass of alcohol a day could reduce your stroke risk.
A handful of studies have found that light drinking can reduce your risk of stroke. An oft-cided 2005 study published in Stroke found that one to six servings of alcohol per week—such as wine, beer, or liquor—was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke compared to people who abstained from drinking altogether. Another notable study from 2003 published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggested that light or moderate alcohol consumption, about 12 grams of alcohol a day, may be protective against both total and ischemic strokes.
That's not all. An earlier 1999 study from The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) also concluded that light drinking can reduce the risk of overall stroke in men. "The benefit is apparent with as little as one drink per week," the study noted. Finally, a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Cardiology found that low alcohol intake was associated with not only a reduced risk of total stroke and ischemic stroke, but also with stroke mortality.
On the other hand, drinking too much can increase your risk of stroke.
Although light to moderate drinking can be beneficial, drinking too much can be dangerous. The 2014 study pointed out that while "low alcohol intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke morbidity and mortality … heavy alcohol intake is associated with an increased risk of total stroke."
The 2003 JAMA study also came to a similar conclusion, noting that heavy alcohol consumption increased the relative risk of stroke. Meanwhile, the study published in Stroke found that drinking 14 drinks or more per week caused stroke risk to surge.
Some people should avoid drinking altogether.
While research shows that having one drink every day could be good for you, experts advise against becoming a drinker if you weren't already. Additionally, there are a handful of people who should avoid drinking entirely, regardless of any potential benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges people who are pregnant, under the age of 21, have certain medical conditions, are prescribed certain medications, or are recovering from an alcohol use disorder to abstain from drinking.
RELATED: For more health advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Eating well, exercising, and watching your cholesterol and blood pressure can also reduce your stroke risk.
If you can't drink, don't want to drink, or you're just looking for additional ways to reduce your stroke risk, there are plenty of positive life changes you can make. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lowering your blood pressure, exercising more, monitoring for heart disease, eating well, and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy weight can all help lower your chances of having a stroke.