How a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce and salad could cut your risk of having a stroke
For every seven grams of fibre that a person consumes their risk of a first stroke falls by seven per centFibre reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levelsSources include whole grains, fruit and vegetables
The studies reported on all types of stroke with four specifically examining the risk of ischemic stroke, the most common type which occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain.
Three assessed haemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel bleeds into the brain or on its surface.
Other stroke risk factors like age and smoking were taken into account.
The results showed total dietary fibre consumed was linked with stroke risk, with the risk falling in line with increasing amounts eaten.
People who regularly eat more dietary fibre are less likely to suffer a stroke
Researchers did not find an association with soluble fibre and stroke risk, and lacked enough data on insoluble fibre to make any conclusions about the best kind of dietary fibre.
Soluble fibres, which dissolve in water, include oats and oat bran, peas, beans, barley.
Insoluble fibres, which promote the movement of material through the digestive system, include whole wheat, whole grain, vegetable and fruit skins, and wheat bran.
Stroke risk falls by seven per cent for every seven grams of fibre consumed each day
Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of insoluble fibre have lower blood pressure and lower body weight, whereas high blood pressure and obesity raise stroke risk.
A recent study from Oxford University found that eating more fruit and vegetables would dramatically cut the annual toll of premature deaths in the UK.
It showed 15,000 lives would be saved by sticking to five-a-day advice, including 7,000 from coronary heart disease, almost 5,000 from cancer and more than 3,000 from stroke.
The UK’s nutritional target is for people to eat 440g of fruit and vegetables every day.
The average consumption of fruit and vegetables is three portions a day, with only 22 per cent of Britons consuming the recommended five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Dr Clare Walton of the Stroke Association said: ‘Making healthy lifestyle changes are important to help reduce your risk of stroke, and this research suggests that eating foods high in fibre is particularly beneficial.
‘We recommend having a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts and other wholegrain foods to increase your fibre intake.
‘You can also reduce your risk of stroke by exercising regularly and lowering the amount of saturated fat and salt in your diet.’