According to a new study conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of ischemic strokes which are caused by the lack of oxygen-enriched blood in the brain.
Strokes or cerebrovascular accidents (CVI) are one of the biggest health related issues in the U.S. and throughout the world. Taking into consideration that treatments are frequently expensive and that no one wants to get to the point where they are at risk of a stroke, it is better to prevent than treat. This is where a diet comes into play. Food rich in saturated fats and sugar are important risk factors for strokes. If we change our diet and start opting for healthier products, we automatically lower the risk of developing a CVI.
The study was conducted with the purpose of analyzing the relationship between dietary habits and heart disease, mental degeneration and death. The team, led by Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City looked over data acquired from over 104,000 teachers who participated in this long-term study. All participants were from California and had an average age of 52.
According to the study, there is one type of stroke that cannot be influenced by changing dietary patters, the hemorrhagic stroke which represents 20 percent of all cardiovascular accidents. Hemorrhagic strokes take place due to ruptured blood vessels in the brain which leads to bleeding.
So a few small changes in one’s diet can make a difference. One example is to switch from using butter to olive oil or reducing the amount of red meat eaten and opting for fish instead. Fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts are also a good option.
A Mediterranean diet consists of eating things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, poultry whole-grain bread, olives, olive oil and cereals because they contain monosaturated fats (the good type of fat). Fish is also an important component when it comes to this type of diet. Trout, sardines, tuna and salmon are great options. Wine is also recommended at meals but in small amounts.
Sweets are allowed only in small amounts aswell. Processed or red meat should rarely be consumed.
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