MIND diet could help lower the risk of stroke

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Scientists from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences found that eating a MIND diet for a long time is linked to a lower risk of stroke.

A stroke, also known as a transient ischemic attack or cerebrovascular accident, happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked.

This prevents the brain from getting oxygen and nutrients from the blood.

Without oxygen and nutrients, brain cells begin to die within minutes. Sudden bleeding in the brain can also cause a stroke if it damages brain cells.

A stroke is a medical emergency. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death. Signs of a stroke can range from mild weakness to paralysis or numbness on one side of the face or body.

Other signs include a sudden and severe headache, sudden weakness, trouble seeing, and trouble speaking or understanding speech.

The best way to help prevent a stroke is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

These lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of problems like arteries becoming clogged with fatty substances (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure.

The Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, or MIND diet, targets the health of the aging brain.

Both the Mediterranean and DASH diets had already been linked to the preservation of cognitive function, presumably through their protective effects against cardiovascular disease, which in turn preserved brain health.

Although some components of the MIND diet were linked to stroke, the association between adherence to the MIND diet and the risk of stroke was unknown.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the association between adherence to the MIND diet and the risk of stroke in adults.

The team tested 193 hospitalized stroke patients and 195 hospital-based people without strokes.

The dietary intakes of all these participants were tested using a 168-item food frequency questionnaire.

The team calculated the MIND diet score based on participants’ dietary intakes obtained from the food questionnaire. The stroke was confirmed by a trained neurologist using standard imaging methods.

The researchers found after controlling for age, sex, energy intake, physical activity, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, there was no strong association between adherence to the MIND diet and stroke.

However, after further adjustment for BMI, they found that people with the greatest adherence to the MIND diet were less likely to have a stroke compared with those with the lowest adherence.

The greater adherence to the MIND diet was associated with a 59% reduced risk of stroke.

The team concludes that adherence to the MIND diet was inversely associated with odds of stroke. They suggest further studies are required to confirm these findings.

The research was published in Nutritional Neuroscience and conducted by Asma Salari-Moghaddam et al.

If you care about stroke, please read studies that diets high in flavonoids could help reduce stroke risk, and the MIND diet could slow down cognitive decline after stroke.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce the risk of dementia, and cutting 1 gram of salt could prevent 9 million heart attacks and stroke cases.

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