Plant-based diet quality linked to lower stroke risk

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Plant-based diets not only ward off heart disease; they also can ward off strokes. But it depends on the quality of the diet.

A Harvard study published online March 10, 2021, by the journal Neurology evaluated the self-reported health data of about 210,000 healthy men and women who periodically answered diet questionnaires over 25 years. Compared with people who ate unhealthy plant-based foods (such as white bread, pizza, potatoes, and foods with added sugar), people who ate healthy plant-based foods (leafy greens, whole grains, and beans) had up to a 10% reduction in stroke risk, especially ischemic strokes, which, like heart attacks, are caused by a blockage of blood flow.

A healthy plant-based diet is just part of the approach to preventing a stroke.

This approach should also include lots of aerobic exercise to get your heart and lungs pumping; adequate sleep; stress reduction; blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight control; limited alcohol intake if you drink; and not smoking.


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