Science Daily reports that more than 418,000 people in nine European countries were investigated for ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke separately.
Published in the European Heart Journal, the study found that while higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, fiber, milk, cheese or yogurt were each linked to a lower risk of ischemic stroke, there was no significant association with a lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke. However, greater consumption of eggs was associated with a higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke but not with ischemic stroke.
Until now, Science Daily writes, most studies have looked at the association between food and all types of stroke combined, or focused on ischemic stroke only.
Stroke is the second leading cause of deaths worldwide. Dr. Tammy Tong, the first author of the paper and a nutritional epidemiologist at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford (U.K.), said, "The most important finding is that higher consumption of both dietary fiber and fruit and vegetables was strongly associated with lower risks of ischemic stroke, which supports current European guidelines. The general public should be recommended to increase their fiber and fruit and vegetable consumption if they are not already meeting these guidelines.”
The total amount of fiber (including fiber from fruit, vegetables, cereal, legumes, nuts and seeds) that people ate was associated with the greatest potential reduction in the risk of ischemic stroke. Every 10 grams more intake of fiber a day was associated with a 23% lower risk.
Fruit and vegetables alone were associated with a 13% lower risk for every 200 grams eaten a day.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe recommend consuming at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day; the ESC also suggests people should consume 30-45 grams of fiber a day.