- A new study of more than 418,329 Europeans who were followed for an average of 12.7 years looked at how their diets were connected to their risk of two types of stroke.
- The researchers found that fruits, vegetables, fiber, and dairy products were linked to a lower risk of ischemic stroke, the more common type of stroke caused when a blood clot prevents blood from flowing into the brain.
- They also found that the more eggs people ate, the more likey they were to experience a hemorrhagic stroke, or when bleeding in the brain damages nearby cells.
- The research aligns with current recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as past research showing different factors contribute to the different types of stroke.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Eating your fruits and vegetables has yet again been shown to pay off.
In a study out Monday in the European Heart Journal, researchers found that doing so is connected to a lower risk of ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, which is caused by a blood clot preventing blood from reaching the brain.
Specifically, every 10 grams more of fiber a day was connected to a 23% lower ischemic stroke risk. Fiber is found in fruits and vegetables, as well as from other sources like nuts, cereal, and legumes. A cup of cooked oatmeal has about 4 grams; an apple has closer to 4.5 grams.
The study also found that, to a lesser extent, dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt were associated with a lower riskof ischemic stroke.
"The most important finding is that higher consumption of both dietary fiber and fruit and vegetables was strongly associated with lower risks of ischaemic stroke, which supports current European guidelines," study author Dr. Tammy Tong, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Oxford in the UK, said in a press release.
"The general public should be recommended to increase their fiber and fruit and vegetable consumption, if they are not already meeting these guidelines," she said.
The study found hemorrhagic strokes were linked to a different kind of diet
When the researchers looked at people's diets and their likelihood of suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, or the less common type in which bleeding in the brain damages nearby cells, they found different connections.
Fruits, vegetables, fiber, and dairy didn't seem to affect their risk, but eggs did. For every additional 20 grams of eggs eaten a day — that's about a third of a large egg — the risk of hemorrhagic stroke went up 25%.
However, on average, study participants ate fewer than 20 grams of eggs a day, so the connection should be considered with caution. Plus, since the study only showed an association and not a cause-and-effect relationship between diet and stroke risk of any kind, it's possible other factors like socioeconomic status or habits like smoking are at play.
Past research has been mixed when it comes to the best type of diet to prevent a stroke, the second leading cause of death worldwide.
A September study of nearly 50,000 UK adults who were followed for 18 years found that vegans and vegetarians had a higher risk of stroke, and particularly hemorrhagic stroke, than meat-eaters, perhaps because the cholesterol in a diet with animal products is somehow protective of the brain even though it also contributes to a higher risk of heart attack.
Vegans and vegetarians who ate fish, however, seemed to benefit most, having both a low risk of heart attack and stroke.
More than the specific makeup of a diet are how that diet contributes to known risk factors for stroke including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cigarette smoking, and atrial fibrillation. Hypertension is also a big risk factor, with one study even finding 54% of people who've had strokes also had hypertension. Aging and family history of strokes up your risk too.
Source: Read Full Article