World Health Day Focuses on Mediterranean Diet’s Role in Preventing Ischemic Cerebrovascular Stroke

by Ella

As the global community observes World Health Day on April 7, the spotlight is on the Mediterranean diet and its potential in averting ischemic cerebrovascular strokes, especially in light of veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty’s recent hospitalization due to this health concern.

Dr. Shantesh Kaushik, a Senior Consultant and Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgeon at Apollo Hospital, sheds light on the Mediterranean diet’s significance in combating ischemic strokes of the brain. Originating from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea like Italy, Spain, and Greece, this diet is renowned for its health benefits.


“The Mediterranean diet is among the most accepted diets shown to be effective in the long term in halting the deterioration of blood vessels, whether in the brain or the heart,” asserts Dr. Kaushik.


Explaining the connection between blood vessels and ischemic cerebrovascular strokes, Dr. Kaushik elucidates, “When the blockage process affects the heart vessels, you get a heart attack. When it affects the brain vessels, you get a stroke. A cerebrovascular stroke means the brain arteries are blocked, resulting in restricted blood supply to parts of the brain.”


Notably, strokes come in two forms: Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) and major strokes. TIA, a reversible stroke, involves a temporary decrease in blood supply to the brain, often resulting in slight motor and sensory function loss. Dr. Kaushik emphasizes the importance of not disregarding early indicators, as TIAs can precede major strokes within three to six months.


While discussing prevention strategies, Dr. Kaushik emphasizes the preventability of blood vessel diseases but laments the prevalent unhealthy lifestyle practices. “Today, our lifestyle has become problematic. We don’t follow the three basic rules — good diet, exercise, and sufficient sleep,” he notes.

Diet plays a pivotal role in preventing strokes, with the Mediterranean diet standing out. Dr. Kaushik elaborates on its principles, emphasizing the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. He underscores the diet’s emphasis on Omega 3 fatty acids from sources like fatty fish, chia seeds, flax seeds, and olive oil.

Breaking down the diet’s mechanics, Dr. Kaushik explains, “The Mediterranean diet stresses on eating unprocessed, locally available, and fresh food to reduce sodium intake, a major cause of high blood pressure. Additionally, it incorporates ions like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which help lower blood pressure.”

Foods encouraged in the Mediterranean diet include a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy products, herbs, spices, and oils.

As the world marks World Health Day, the Mediterranean diet stands as a beacon of hope in the fight against ischemic cerebrovascular strokes, offering a practical and nutritious approach to promoting overall health and well-being.



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