Breastfeeding mothers are up to 48 percent less at risk of suffering a stroke in later life, new research suggests.

Black women who choose to breastfeed reduce their risk of having a stroke in their 70s by 48 percent, while feeding naturally lowers the risk among white women by 21 percent, a study found.

Although unclear why this occurs, previous research suggests breastfeeding changes a woman’s metabolism, encouraging her to lose weight she gained during pregnancy. Excess weight is one of the biggest factors that increases heart-disease risk.

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