We're all aware that a good diet equals good health. But turns out there's a lot more to it than we thought. New research has found that there could be an association between food consumed and developing the risk of having certain types of strokes. Titled, “The associations of major foods and fiber with risks of ischaemic and hemorrhagic stroke: a prospective study of 418,329 participants in the EPIC cohort across nine European countries,” the study aimed to find the association between food consumption and strokes.
While an ischaemic stroke is one where blood clots clog the arteries and this can prevent blood blow into certain areas of the brain, thus causing a stroke, a hemorrhagic stroke refers to one when one or more arteries within the brain rupture leading to internal bleeding within the brain. It was also found that nearly 85% of the strokes experienced were ischaemic strokes while 15 percent are hemorrhagic.
For the study, over 418,000 people from nine European countries were surveyed and it was found that consuming more fruits and vegetables, dairy products and fibre-rich foods apparently helped reduce the risk of ischemic stroke. However, these did not help reduce the risk of having a hemorrhagic stroke.
The first author of the study, Dr. Tammy Tong, a nutritional epidemiologist, said, “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."
"The general public should be recommended to increase their fibre and fruit and vegetable consumption if they are not already meeting these guidelines.” Tong added, “Our study also highlights the importance of examining stroke subtypes separately, as the dietary associations differ for ischaemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and is consistent with other evidence, which shows that other risk factors, such as cholesterol levels or obesity, also influence the two-stroke subtypes differently.”
Their research showed that for ischemic strokes, the risk was lowered by consuming foods like fruits, vegetables, dietary fibres, milk, yoghurt and cheese. Egg consumption, on the other hand, raised the risk of having a hemorrhagic stroke.
The authors of the study concluded, “Risk of ischaemic stroke was inversely associated with consumption of fruit and vegetables, dietary fibre, and dairy foods, while the risk of hemorrhagic stroke was positively associated with egg consumption.”