Preventing stroke with a vegetarian diet
More good news about the benefits of a plant-based diet! A new study shows that following vegetarian diet reduces the risk of stroke. We’ve been reporting on the many health benefits of vegetarian diets for lowering the risk of disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer and colon cancer. We can now add reducing the risk of stroke to the growing list. This is important since stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans.
Stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year. Stroke costs the United States an estimated $34 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medicines to treat stroke, and missed days of work.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain.
There are two forms of stroke: ischemic – blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic – bleeding into or around the brain. In the latest study, a vegetarian diet reduced the risk of ischemic stroke by 59% and hemorrhagic stroke by 66%. You can improve on this even more, by making sure you remember to take vitamin B12 supplements.
Strokes are a thing to be avoided. Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness or hemiparesis. Stroke may cause problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often have problems understanding or forming speech.
By following a vegetarian diet, you will reduce your risk of this potentially crippling and sometimes deadly disease.