A new study has claimed that eating Mediterranean or DASH-style diets, which include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, poultry and fish, can help reducing the risk of a first-time stroke.
According to updated American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guideline, the researchers found that the diet combined with regular physical activity and keeping blood pressure under control can lower the risk factor.
Lead author James Meschia, M.D., said that there was huge opportunity to improve how new strokes were prevented, because risk factors that could be changed or controlled, especially high blood pressure, account for 90 percent of strokes.
The updated guidelines recommend these tips to lower risk:
Eat a Mediterranean or DASH-style diet, supplemented with nuts.
Monitor high blood pressure at home with a cuff device.
Keep pre-hypertension from becoming high blood pressure by making lifestyle changes such as getting more physical activity, eating a healthy diet and managing your weight.
Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet; sodium is found mostly in salt.
Visit your healthcare provider annually for blood pressure evaluation.
If the medication to lower blood pressure doesn't work or has bad side effects, talk to the healthcare provider about finding a combination of drugs that work for you.
Don't smoke. Smoking and taking oral birth control pills can significantly increase your stroke risk. For a woman who experiences migraines with aura, smoking raises the risk of stroke even more than in the general population.
Mediterranean-style or DASH-style diets are limited in red meat and foods containing saturated fats, which are mostly found in animal-based products such as meat, butter, cheese and full-fat dairy.
Mediterranean-style diets are generally low in dairy products and DASH-style diets emphasize low-fat dairy products.
The study was published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.