While there is plenty of research that has linked the Mediterranean diet with reduced incidence of heart disease, there is not much in regard to stroke. A stroke happens when there is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. An ischemic stroke involves a blood clot that blocks blood vessel flow, whereas a hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel breaks. It is the fifth leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 59 years old and second cause of death in individuals over 60. So yes it is important that we protect ourselves from it-young and old.
A new study presented this month at the International Stroke Conference, looked at the relationship of the Mediterranean diet and incidence of stroke in women. The researchers gathered information from 133, 478 women from the California Teachers Study which have been enrolled since 1995.
Using the MeDi adherence score (a tool measuring the adherence to a Mediterranean style diet) they compared this with data they had with hospitalization, death records as well as socio-demographic as well physical activity, weight, smoking and other risk factors.
Upon follow up the researchers found that those that had high adherence to the Mediterranean diet had lower risk of stroke. The researchers concluded that “Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with decreased risk of total and ischemic stroke incidence among women.”