This article today on Yahoo reports that strokes are on the rise not among the elderly, the population we traditionally think of when we think of strokes, but among people around age 35. Read the article here: Strokes are rising fast among young, middle-aged
The authors of the study cite the rising rate of obesity as one of the contributors to strokes, which is probably true. But what they aren't talking about is the ratio of magnesium and potassium to sodium in the body.
The more junk foods and processed foods you eat, the more sodium you take in and the less magnesium and potassium you get. Both magnesium and potassium are plentiful in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Many years ago, I read a book that totally changed my mind about high blood pressure, strokes and cardiovascular disease. In it, an MD talked about how it wasn't necessarily the calories you eat but the mineral composition of the foods you take in that can impact cardiovascular disease. He went through the chemistry of how various minerals affect the blood vessels over time. The end result was that he recommended a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. And you really can't go wrong with that. If you base your diet around such foods, you'll end up naturally tipping the balance into the healthy ratio of minerals that your body craves.
I'll keep searching for that book, but in the meantime, do what you can do eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed food. Strokes are nothing to joke about. Believe me, you don't want to experience it, nor do you want a loved one to experience a stroke.