90% of strokes are ischemic strokes, meaning blood flow to the brain is cut off and part of the brain is killed due to a clogged artery. A small percentage strokes are hemorrhagic, where a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into the brain. Strokes affects people in different ways, depending on where the damage was done. Blood clots in the brain may not physically show themselves & are silent strokes that kill off portions of the brain until dementia develops. Some people have arm weakness, some develop paralysis, & some sadly die from strokes. Strokes kill 130,000 Americans each year, & there is an easy way to cut back on that number: higher fiber intake. High fiber intake can help prevent many other chronic diseases, such as colon & breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, & obesity. Less than 3% of Americans (maybe the vegans?) meet the minimum recommendation for fiber, meaning almost all of the population is fiber deficient. Fiber is only found in whole plant foods (there is a tiny amount in processed food & none in animal derived food). Eating 7 more grams of fiber daily can cut stroke risk by 7% (Greger). Fiber helps to control cholesterol levels & lower blood pressure, which helps reduce plaque in the brain's blood vessels. A study of hundreds of children followed from middle school to adulthood (24 years) showed that low fiber intake caused stiffening in arteries to the brain, a big risk factor for strokes (Greger). Only a small increase of fiber is needed during childhood to reduce stroke risk.
Potassium and citrus have also been associated with a lower risk of strokes. Less than 2% of Americans reach the daily intake of 4,700mg of potassium; a 1,640mg increase daily shows a 21% reduction in stroke risk (Greger). Potassium rich foods include greens, beans, and sweet potatoes. Hesperidin, a phytonutrient found in citrus, increases blood flow in the body and decreases blood pressure. This was also found to be very affective in those suffering poor blood flow (Greger). Read "How Not to Die" by Dr. Michael Greger for a deeper look into scientific studies that prove a whole foods plant based diet can prevent and reverse chronic diseases.