How to Prevent a Stroke:
There are many different ways you can prevent a stroke. Here we are going to talk about one method of prevention that everyone thinks about, healthy diet and weight!
Let’s first start off by understanding why a stroke happens;
A stroke can be caused by an obstruction in the blood flow, or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain. The patient may suddenly lose the ability to speak, remember things, or one side of the body can be paralyzed.
There are two types of strokes;
The first type of stroke is called an Ischemic stroke. According to an article by the American Heart Association¹ eighty seven percent of all strokes are Ischemic. An Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot, or thrombus, forms that blocks blood flow to part of the brain.
The Second type of stroke is a Hemorrhagic stroke. A Hemorrhagic Stroke occurs when a blood vessel on the brain’s surface ruptures and fills the space between the brain and skull with blood, or when a defective artery in the brain bursts and fills surrounding tissue with blood (cerebral hemorrhage).²
An important way to help prevent a stroke is maintaining a healthy diet! A diet containing five or more daily servings of fruits or vegetables may reduce your risk substantially. Following what's known as a mediterranean diet, this diet emphasizes olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains are very helpful.
Did you know....
If you eat plenty of tomatoes, your risk of developing stroke could be reduced significantly. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. In a study published in Neurology, October 2012, researcher found that people with high blood concentrations of lycopene had a 59% lower risk of a stroke compared to those with the lowest concentrations.³
Eat small portions! Eating more than the body requires forces your metabolism to store the extra calories and increases your body weight.
Eat salt in moderation! Salt makes the body retain fluid, which in turn increases your blood pressure. Try to eliminate sources of excessive salt from your diet, such as canned foods or soy sauce.
Make unhealthy meals an exception! Keep your urges for fried foods and other delicious, but not-so-healthy dishes under control, and maintain a healthy diet otherwise. Make fast food, if you crave it, an only occasional splurge
If you drink, do so in moderation! It is suggested that wine may actually help reduce stroke risk. Like anything alcohol should be consumed in moderation.
The good news about following a healthy diet is it normally directly correlates with a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other stroke risk factors , such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Excess weight strains the circulatory system. Weight loss of as little as ten pounds may lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol level.
Did you know...
Even a brisk walk for half an hour or so per day can help you lose weight and decrease your chances of ever suffering a stroke.
1. "Hemorrhagic Strokes (Bleeds)" The American Heart Association. Accessed 11 December 2013.
2. "Stroke risk factors" National Stroke Foundation - Australia. Accessed 11 December 2013.
3."Serum lycopene decreases the risk of stroke in men - A population-based follow-up study" Jouni Karppi, PhD et al. Neurology. October 9, 2012, vol. 79 no. 15 1540-1547. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31826e26a6. Abstract. Accessed 12 December 2013.
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