Eating more dairy products may help reduce the risk of stroke, according to a study in this month’s issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

“There’s strong evidence that the nutrients in ‘milk group’ foods can play a significant role in helping millions of Americans who are at risk for stroke,” says author of the study, Linda Massey, professor of food science and human nutrition at Washington State University-Spokane.

Massey concludes that milk’s mineral mix of calcium, magnesium and potassium may help reduce or prevent high blood pressure, clotting of the blood and hardening of the arteries, all of which the American Heart Association considers key factors for stroke risk.

“What’s compelling about this research” is that Americans may be able to reduce their risk for stroke by simply incorporating dairy into their diets on a three-times-a-day basis, says Ann Marie Krautheim, registered dietitian for the National Dairy Council.