AARHUS, Denmark — We know that eating more vegetables than meat is good for the environment. Now, new research tells us a sustainable approach to eating also benefits the brain in a big way. Scientists from Aarhus University report a connection between plant-based diets and a lower risk of blood clots in the brain.
“If adult men or women follow a sustainable diet and the Nordic recommendations for dietary fiber intake, then we see a lower risk of bleeding or blood clots in the brain,” says study leader Christina Dahm in a statement..
Notably, this study contradicts the findings of a recent well-publicized U.K. project that had concluded meat eaters are less likely to develop brain blood clots than vegetarians. “A vegetarian diet is very similar to a sustainable diet, and since we need to eat more sustainably in the future, it was a rather worrying result. Our results show that it is safe to eat a sustainable diet,” adds study contributor Daniel Ibsen.
Data originally collected for the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health population study was used by the research team for their analysis. In all, 57,053 adults (ages 50-64) were included. Back in the early 1990s, those individuals all filled out a series of surveys asking about their dietary habits and lifestyles. Since then, researchers have used Danish health databases to keep track of long-term health outcomes. More specifically, they looked out for bleeding and blood clots in the brain.
“The food we eat has a crucial influence on our health, but also affects our climate and the environment. We need to eat more sustainably, but of course it’s important that we also have a healthy diet,” Dahm explains.
In light of these findings, you may be interested in seeing Denmark’s seven official climate-friendly dietary suggestions. Adopting just one or two of these recommendations will likely benefit your brain, body, and our planet:
- Always stay hydrated
- Eat less sweets, salty foods, and fatty foods
- Eat more grains
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Choose legumes and fish over meat
- Choose vegetable oils and low-fat dairy products
- Eat a plant rich, varied, and portioned diet
The study is published in Stroke.