Want to lower your stroke risk? Follow a vegetarian diet, advise experts
09/16/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Want to lower your stroke risk? Follow a vegetarian diet, advise experts

Here’s one good reason to follow a vegetarian diet: It could lower your risk of stroke.

That’s according to a recent study published in the journal Neurology, which showed that people who eat a diet rich in nuts, vegetables and soy may have a lower risk of stroke than those who also eat meat and fish. Vegetarians were defined in the study as people who did not eat any meat or fish.

Vegetarian diet linked to lower risk of stroke

In the study, researchers followed two groups of people from Buddhist communities in Taiwan, where following a vegetarian diet is encouraged and smoking and drinking are discouraged. About 30 percent of all the participants were vegetarians, or people who did not eat any meat or fish.

Brighteon.TV

None of the participants experienced a stroke at the start of the study. The first group, which comprised 5,050 people, was followed for six years, while the second group of 8,302 people was followed for nine years. All of the participants underwent medical exams at the start of the study and were asked about their diets.

It appeared that vegetarians ate more nuts, vegetables and soy than non-vegetarians. Vegetarians also didn’t consume as much dairy as non-vegetarians. Moreover, vegetarians ate more fiber and plant-based proteins and less animal protein and fat than non-vegetarians. Both groups ate the same amount of eggs and fruits.

The researchers also examined a national database to determine the number of strokes participants had during the study. They found 54 cases of stroke in the first group. They also found that only three vegetarians in the group had an ischemic stroke, which happens when blood flow through the artery that supplies blood to the brain becomes blocked. Meanwhile, there were 28 strokes among non-vegetarians in that group.

In all, vegetarians in the first group had a 74 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than non-vegetarians.

On the other hand, the researchers found 121 cases of stroke in the second group. These cases included ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a weakened vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. In this group, there were 24 cases of stroke among vegetarians and 97 cases among non-vegetarians.

In all, the vegetarians in this group had a 48 percent lower risk of overall stroke than non-vegetarians.

What’s more, the researchers found that a vegetarian diet benefited participants even after adjusting for several known risk factors for stroke, including blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipids. This suggests that there may be some other mechanism protecting those who eat a vegetarian diet from a stroke. More studies are needed to confirm this.

What’s in a vegetarian diet?

A vegetarian diet should include a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, herbs and whole grains. For protein, opt for seeds, nuts, legumes, tempeh and other plant-based protein sources instead of meat, seafood or poultry.

That said, there are different types of vegetarian diets. They mainly differ based on whether or not they exclude meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and animal-based products. Below are the main variations of the vegetarian diet:

  • Lacto-vegetarian – This diet excludes meat, fish, poultry and eggs but includes dairy products.
  • Ovo-vegetarian – This diet excludes meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products but allows eggs.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian – This diet excludes meat, fish and poultry but allows dairy products and eggs.
  • Pescatarian – This diet allows fish and excludes meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs.
  • Vegan – This diet excludes meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products, as well as foods containing these products.

Take note that eliminating meat and animal-based products could increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. However, a well-balanced vegetarian diet, possibly alongside supplements, may help prevent deficiencies.

Recipe for lentil salad with cucumbers

Salads are a classic vegetarian dish, and they’re incredibly versatile, too. By using the right ingredients, you can make an extremely filling salad that you can enjoy on its own or pair with heartier main dishes.

Try this recipe for lentil salad with cucumbers:

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 large cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 3-inch piece kombu
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, finely diced

Ingredients for the lemon vinaigrette:

  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
  • Ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Preparation:

  1. Rinse and drain the lentils.
  2. To a saucepan, add the lentils, water, bay leaf and kombu. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft but not mushy.
  4. Drain the lentils and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Add the cucumber, red onion, dates and parsley.
  6. Mix the lemon vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle over the salad and toss. Serve immediately.

There’s strong evidence to suggest that eating a vegetarian diet may lower your risk of stroke. Switch to a vegetarian diet today to enjoy this benefit.

Sources:

IntegrativePractitioner.com

MayoClinic.org

Downshiftology.com

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
Comments
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles