Unfortunately, interruption of blood flow to the brain—by blockage or hemorrhage—is common among Americans. Stroke is the third leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer), and each year nearly 800,000 people suffer a stroke. While stroke risk dramatically increases after age 55, nearly a quarter of strokes occur among those under age 65. High blood pressure and smoking are two of the biggest risk factors. Yet researchers are discovering that diet plays a huge role in keeping the brain and its blood supply in good working order, and, in some cases, can even limit the damage to brain cells if stroke occurs.