Eat a Plant-Based Diet to Lessen Stroke Risk
People that eat a vegetarian diet rich in nuts, vegetables and soy may have a lower risk of stroke than others with diets that include meat and fish, concluded a new study in the journal Neurology. Taiwanese researchers studied two groups of healthy people over age 50 that lived in Buddhist communities in which drinking and smoking were discouraged and vegetarian diets were followed by about a third of residents. Compared to the meat- and fish-eaters, vegetarians consumed less dairy, animal protein and fat, about the same amount of eggs and fruit, and more fiber and plant protein. In the group of 5,050 people studied for six years, vegetarians had a 74 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked, than non-vegetarians. In the group of 8,302 people followed for nine years, vegetarians had a 48 percent lower risk of overall stroke than non-vegetarians, a 60 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke and a 65 percent lower risk of hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke. “Stroke can also contribute to dementia. If we could reduce the number of strokes by people making changes to their diets, that would have a major impact on overall public health,” says study author Chin-Lon Lin, M.D.