Stroke prevention and diet

40% of stroke survivors have a second stroke within five years with the highest risk being in the first few months after the stroke or TIA therefore you need to be vigilant when it comes to stroke prevention.

Prevention measures include eating a balanced diet.  Below is further information about what that may look like.


The National Stroke Foundation’s pamphlet on High Cholesterol and Stroke suggests to maintain a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables.

Choose vegetable oils and spreads like margarine or olive oil.

Eat fish (fresh or canned) regularly and select lean meat. Limit take away food and foods high in cholesterol (eg. full fat dairy products, fatty meats, egg yolks and offal).

Below you will find some news articles on recent research on certain food, beverages in relation to stroke

  • Red Meat – A new study again has found that higher consumption of both processed and unprocessed red meat is associated with a higher risk for stroke, whereas intake of poultry was associated with a reduced risk.

Click here for news article (12 January 2012)


  • Diet Fizzy Drinks – A SINGLE can of diet fizzy drink each day can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, research has revealed.

Click here for news article (2 February 2012)


  • Fried Food – Older women who eat high amounts of the kind of fat found in fried foods and baked goods face a greater risk of stroke than women who eat lower fat diets.  The data came from the largest study to date of post-menopausal women and their eating habits

Click here for news article (1 March 2012)


  • Salt – A new George Institute report has demonstrated that an individual’s salt intake can be cut by a substantial five grams a day, simply by switching to healthier foods. This would reduce stroke risk by one quarter and save thousands of lives each year.

Click here for news article (26 March 2012)


  • Coffee – Researchers found that women who drank more than one cup of coffee a day had a lower risk — up to 25% lower —  than did women who drank little or no coffee.

Click here for news article (11 March 2011)

  • Alcohol – Research showed that women who drank low to moderate amounts of alcohol – from less than 1/2 a glass of wine per day to 1.5 glasses of wine, one serving of a mixed drink, or one beer – had a lower stroke risk than women who never drank.   The researchers speculate that alcohol may contain components that prevent blood clots and cholesterol buildup in the arteries, both which are risk factors for stroke. However, large amounts of alcohol may increase blood pressure and risks for a potentially lethal heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation, which are risk factors for stroke.

Click here for the news article in full.  (9 March 2012)

  • Fish – Published in the January issue of Hypertension, the Danish study explored the relationship between Omega-3 intake and cardiovascular disease among 49,000 women of reproductive age. The researchers found that “little or no intake” of fish or long-chain Omega-3 essential fatty acids corresponded to an increased risk of heart disease. In one analysis, the researchers found a near three-fold increase in heart-disease risk among women who never ate fish when compared to women who ate fish every week.

Click here for news article (1 February 2012)

  • Raw Fruit and Vegetables – Recent research is showing that a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables significantly reduces the risk of stroke.  Those in the high intake of raw fruit and vegetables group had a 30 percent reduction in strokes. These who consumed raw fruits and vegetables also had fewer strokes than those who ate processed fruit and vegetables. Researchers discovered that eating white fruits, primarily apples and pears, was strongly preventive regarding strokes

Click here for news article (24 January 2012)


  • Tomatoes – Finnish study found eating tomatoes can dramatically reduce the risk of having a stroke

Click here for news article (9 October 2012)


  • Citrus Fruit – A compound found in oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruit may lower stroke risk in women, results from an observational study suggest. Women who consumed the highest levels of flavanone were 19% less likely to experience an ischemic stroke during a 14-year study.

Click here to view news article (25 February 2012)


  • High FibreFoods high in fibre provide good protection against cardiovascular disease, and the effect is particularly marked in women. This is shown in a new study from Lund University in Sweden. Women who ate a diet high in fibre had an almost 25 per cent lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease compared with women who ate a low-fibre diet.

Click here to view news article (17 April 2012)


  • Mediterranean Diet – Pour on the olive oil, preferably over fish and vegetables: One of the longest and most scientific tests of a Mediterranean diet suggests this style of eating can cut the chance of suffering heart-related problems, especially strokes, in older people at high risk of them.

Click here to read news article (26 February 2013)