The best stroke food to protect a stroke

What are the best stroke food?What foods protect us?According a published article

DENG, C. LU, Q. GONG, B. “et al. Stroke and food groups: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyzes. Public Health Nutrition, 2018, 21, 4, p. 766-776 (doi: 10.1017 / S1368980017003093).

The consumption of fruits, vegetables, oleaginous fruits, dairy products, fish and tea should be promoted to reduce the risk of stroke.

Publish reviews 

A review of the literature identified all systematic reviews and meta-analyzes of prospective studies examining the links between the risk of stroke and consumption of different food groups. A total of 18 reviews published between 2008 and 2015 were included and 13 foods or food groups were considered.

The results first highlight the protective nature of 7 food groups against the risk of stroke:

  • For the category of fruits and vegetables, this number rises to 21%, with a stronger effect of fruits (23%) than vegetables (14%);
  • Consumption of dairy products is associated with a 13% reduction in stroke risk. This protective effect is particularly marked for low-fat dairy products and cheeses. A non-linear dose-response relationship has been demonstrated between milk consumption and the risk of stroke;
  • Regular fish consumers have a reduced risk of stroke between 9 and 14% compared to very low consumers.
  • Heavy consumers of dried oilseeds have a reduced risk of stroke of about 10% compared to low consumers;
  • The risk of stroke is reduced by 23% in tea consumers. The analysis of the dose effect shows a decrease in this risk of 13 to 18% for an increase in consumption of 3 cups per day. The subgroup analysis particularly highlights green tea for its protective effects.
  • There appears to be a non-linear relationship between coffee consumption and stroke risk. Moderate coffee consumption (3 to 4 cups per day) is associated with a 14-20% reduction in risk.
  • Moderate consumption of chocolate also seems to protect against the risk of stroke.

Of all the food groups studied, only red and processed meats showed a positive relationship with stroke risk. Indeed, a high consumption of red meats is associated with a 9% increase in risk compared to a low consumption. This value is 14% for processed meats. For each additional serving of meat eaten daily, the increased risk of stroke is around 10%.

Finally, for the other food groups considered in this study (legumes, whole and refined grains, sugary drinks, eggs), no association with the risk of stroke was demonstrated.

In conclusion

This review of the literature provides strong evidence on the links between the consumption of foods from different groups and the risk of stroke. High consumption of fruits, vegetables, oleaginous dried fruits, dairy products, fish and tea, as well as moderate consumption of coffee and chocolate should be promoted to reduce this risk. Excessive consumption of red and processed meats is not recommended in this regard.

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The best stroke food to avoid having a stroke

Whether ischemic or hemorrhagic, a cerebrovascular accident (stroke) can have serious consequences. Foods that have protective actions against stroke, with the advice of the dieticians and nutritionists.


The first risk factor for cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) is hypertension: it multiplies by 4 the risk of ischemic stroke (linked to the formation of a clot) and by 10 those of hemorrhagic stroke (linked to the rupture of a blood vessel). Foods that are effective against hypertension will therefore be beneficial against these two types of stroke “, explains Séverine Sénéchal, dietician and nutritionist.
What foods? Foods rich in magnesium and potassium will work effectively against high blood pressure. These include legumes (peas, beans, lentils, broad beans), dark green leafy vegetables (chard, spinach, cabbage, etc.) but also potatoes.
The little extra of legumes: These foods are rich in magnesium, potassium, fiber, but also protein and iron. Thanks to these last two elements, “they can replace red meat and processed meat which are in turn part of the foods that increase cardiovascular risks”, reveals the specialist.

The banana

Why ? Rich in potassium, bananas are on the menu against stroke. “Potassium has indeed an action opposite to sodium in the body. Increasing potassium intake will therefore limit the damage caused by the sodium contained in salty foods. The best is all the same to increase your potassium intake while at the same time decreasing those in sodium “.

What other foods? Besides bananas, prunes, grapes and eggplants are interesting sources of potassium.

Walnut kernels

Why ? Nuts are rich in omega-3s. “The excess of saturated fats promote the formation of clots unlike monounsaturated fats (olive oil, hazelnut oil, avocado, etc.) which generally have a neutral action on the cardiovascular system. Among the polyunsaturated fats, the omega- 6 promote coagulation while omega-3 fluidizes the blood. This is why these latter fatty acids will be useful against the formation of clots and therefore in the prevention of ischemic strokes “.
In which foods? Besides nuts, “rapeseed oil, camelina oil, freshly ground flax seeds (ground because the human digestive system is unable to digest the bark) or chia seeds are excellent. sources of omega-3 “.
Warning: Oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon, herring, tuna …) are also rich in omega-3 but “they accumulate many pollutants, especially when they feed themselves on fish”, warns the dietician . Some of them, like tuna, salmon and sardines, are also on the endangered species list. “Plant sources of omega-3 are therefore healthier and more sustainable choices,” adds the specialist.

Dark chocolate

Why ? “Dark chocolate is rich in cocoa, which itself contains antioxidant pigments, flavonoids”, These substances are antiplatelet agents, that is to say they help to thin the blood, and therefore participate in prevention ischemic stroke.

Mineral water rich in magnesium

Why ? Magnesium is an ally against stroke. Indeed, according to a prospective study * published in 2012 which relied on more than 240,000 participants, an increased magnesium intake of 100 milligrams per day is associated with an 8% reduction in the risk of ischemic stroke.

What foods? “Nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds or walnut kernels are high in magnesium but have the disadvantage that they are also high in energy.” “This is why it is interesting to turn to another source of magnesium in parallel: magnesium mineral waters,” advises the dietician.

The mineral waters richest in magnesium are Hepar®, Rozana®, Contrex® and Courmayeur® waters.

Apples and pears

Why ? “A study * has shown that white-fleshed fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears and cauliflower have preventive actions against stroke. According to these studies, each 25-gram serving would reduce the risk of cancer by 9%. ‘AVC “.

Another argument in favor of fruits and vegetables: They are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin which is also a protective factor against stroke, as explained to Medisite by Professor Jean-Philippe Neau, head of the neurology department of the Poitiers University Hospital. To fill up on vitamin C, bet on citrus fruits, red fruits and green leafy vegetables.
The dietician’s advice: “The different antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E contained in nuts, pigments, etc.) work together. Thanks to a varied diet, you will benefit from this synergy” , recommends Séverine Sénéchal.

Coffee and tea: vary the pleasures

Why ? Coffee and green tea both contain polyphenols, powerful antioxidants believed to have protective actions against stroke. A recent study * even showed that people who drank one cup of coffee per day had a 22-25% lower risk of stroke than people who did not.

Warning: “Do not exceed four cups of coffee per day. Beyond this threshold, it may increase your blood pressure,” warns Séverine Sénéchal. “Instead, consider varying the pleasures and alternating cups of tea and coffee to benefit from the benefits of these two drinks,” adds the dietician.

Alcohol, always in moderation

Why ? Alcohol has anti-aggregating properties, that is, it helps thin the blood and therefore prevents the formation of clots. “A small amount of alcohol, representing one or two glasses of wine per day, has a protective effect against ischemic strokes”, explained to Medisite Professor Jean-Philippe Neau, head of the neurology department of the CHU from Poitiers.
But be careful to always observe moderate alcohol consumption, especially as hemorrhagic strokes are correlated with excessive alcohol consumption.

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