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Adhering to a Mediterranean diet could curb risks of an ischemic stroke.

Adhering to a Mediterranean diet could curb risks of an ischemic stroke.

Nutritionists have long advocated the need for more Americans to adopt a healthier diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, into their day-to-day regimen. No matter how good your exercise routine may be or how effectively you manage your stress, a proper diet is the basic foundation for a strong body and well-nourished brain health. So in that sense, it should come as no surprise that a new study finds that those who adhere to the Mediterranean diet also exhibit a lower chance of suffering an ischemic (blood clot) stroke.

As HealthDay News notes, the Mediterranean diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, legumes, poultry and olive oil, with restrictions on red meat, saturated fats and sweets. The study, led by neurologist Dr. Ayesha Sherzai of Columbia University Medical Center, assessed the dietary habits of 104,000 teachers in California who stuck to the Mediterranean diet. Although the researchers can't conclude a definitive causal relationship between the diet and a reduced risk of stroke, their findings did point to an association between the two. 

"Other factors that would reduce stroke risks, such as exercise, total caloric intake, body mass index, smoking and menopausal/hormonal status" were also taken into account to exclude their influence on the researchers' findings.

However, the study team did not find any lowered risk of a hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke in those who followed a Mediterranean diet.

This was not the first research done on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Previous studies have shown that people who base their eating habits on this regimen demonstrate reduced risks of cardiovascular disease, dementia, weakened memory support and overall mortality.

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