Suzanne Judd of the University of Alabama at Birmingham said the study involved data from 21,000 people ages 45 and older who completed questionnaires on the food they ate. They were also examined for vitamin D levels and stroke risk.
"We found an 11 percent reduction in stroke in those people who had the highest intake of vitamin D," Judd said in a statement.
Judd said the majority of people get some of their vitamin D from the sun.
"10 minutes a day, arms and legs exposed in the spring and fall and summer should be fine," Judd said.
However, if the weather doesn't cooperate, or schedules don't permit, people can get vitamin D from fatty fish like salmon and tuna, enriched food like milk or supplements.
The findings were presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference.