“At a stroke” means immediately, because of one single action, and that’s precisely how our risk of stroke could be decreased with a move to a plant-based, planet-friendly diet.
According to new research, vegetarians and vegans may be 10 per cent less likely than omnivores to suffer an ischemic stroke – when a blood clot or other blockage restricts the flow of blood to the brain. The Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health came to that conclusion after following the health and dietary habits of almost 210,000 people for more than 25 years.
“Our findings have important public health implications, suggesting that future nutrition policies to lower stroke risk should take the quality of food into consideration,” said Megu Baden, the author of the study.
This is far from the first time academics have documented the link between greener eating and decreased risk of stroke. Last year a Taiwanese study of more than 13,000 people in two Buddhist communities that encourage meat-free eating found that the nutritious diets lowered the stroke risk by as much as 74 per cent.
The research is clear for women in particular: in 2011, Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet found that women who eat too much red or processed meat increase their chances of a stroke – while a National Stroke Association study the same year showed that a diet high in antioxidants, found in fruit and vegetables, can cut the risk of a stroke by 17 per cent.