Foods recommended to reduce risk of stroke – may slash risk by 59%

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A stroke is a serious and life-threatening medical condition. While your age is a significant risk factor, your lifestyle choices can also pose a threat. On the other hand, smart dietary decisions could help reduce your risk of the medical emergency. A doctor has shared the type of foods that could do this with gusto. 

Dr Shireen Kassam, who is also a founder of Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, explained that around 90 percent of strokes occur due to atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis describes the build-up of fatty plaque in your arteries which can eventually trigger blockage and deprive your brain of blood supply, triggering a stroke.

The doctor said: “We know a lot about preventing ischaemic stroke because the same risk factors are the cause of heart attacks too. 

“Our diet choices can help to reduce these risk factors, namely high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and being overweight or obese.”

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Rather than focusing on individual foods, the expert recommended ensuring that your diet is packed with various plant foods.

Dr Kassam explained that “high intake” of foods like fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, beans, nuts and seeds could create a powerful combination which is potent at staving off various health problems.

She said: “This is because a plant-based diet is low in saturated fat and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and anti-inflammatory compounds that all help to keep cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose at healthy levels.”

Furthermore, this type of diet is also low in processed foods, which have been previously linked to various cardiovascular problems.

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In fact, the doctor explained that plenty of popular diets, touted for their powerful health benefits, like the Mediterranean diet, or the DASH diets, are rich in plant foods.

“These diets share a high intake of healthy plant foods, and thus are high in fibre, while being low or absent in meat and processed foods,” Dr Kassam said.

What’s more, adhering to a plant-based diet could reduce your risk of the life-threatening emergency by a whopping 59 percent.

The doctor said: “A study from Taiwan, focusing on Buddhist volunteers, showed that those following a vegetarian diet could reduce their risk of ischaemic stroke by 59 percent.”

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However, the doctor also noted that this isn’t an exact science and different studies often show different results.

Dr Kassam added: “The more you change your diet to one that is centred around healthy plant-based foods, the more benefits you will gain. 

“Studies suggest that eating around 85 to 90 percent plant-based is associated with better health, including reducing the risk of stroke and its risk factors.

“However, if you can go all the way and adopt a 100 percent plant-based diet, there may be additional benefits up for grabs.”

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