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.”
Source: Mediterranean Diet and Incidence of Stroke in the California Teachers Study
I was looking up the life expectancy of Uruguay (in relation to some authors there) and while it was relatively high, strokes are the number one cause of death there. Most Uruguayans are of Mediterranean stock (Italian and Spanish, also some Lebanese, as in neighbouring Argentina) so I suspect that this is because of too much red meat in the diet of the Southern Cone countries at the tip of South America. Many Mediterraneans migrated to the Americas to “eat meat” and all that represented, and wound up eating too much of it.
Happy Spring! It is beautiful here now, after a very hard winter in Northeastern North America.
Greek cuisine is my favorite! It’s nice to know that it has so many health benefits, too.
Yes, flavor and health! Perfect combination.