Maintaining a healthy diet is an effective way to reduce the risk of stroke. Read more to discover the top 6 foods that prevent stroke and learn how to incorporate them into your daily meals.
A stroke is a medical condition that occurs when there is an interruption of blood supply to the brain, leading to damage to brain cells. The disruption often occurs due to a burst blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke) or blood clot (ischemic stroke). These are the two main factors that cause stroke. However, there are a few other risk factors that increase the likelihood of an individual suffering a stroke, including:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
A stroke can lead to physical disabilities, cognitive impairments or death of the individual. The impact is often emotional for the families as they might face financial struggles due to medical bills and the prospect of lifestyle adjustments.
For that reason, it is essential to prioritize stroke prevention by living a healthier lifestyle and going for regular medical check-ups to ensure early intervention and minimised devastating effects of the medical condition.
While you can’t manage causes such as genetics and age, eating a healthy diet is a modifiable risk factor that you can control to reduce the risk of a stroke. In this post, we will cover 6 foods that prevent stroke, along with a few guidelines on how to avoid a stroke by maintaining a healthy diet. But before we get into that, it is essential to learn a few nutrients and compounds that help with preventing the medical condition.
How to Reduce the Risk of Stroke Through Diet
Nutrients and Compounds that Help With Prevention of Stroke
- Antioxidants – Antioxidants help reduce the risk of stroke by neutralising free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, which is one of the major causes of inflammation and damaged blood vessels.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, found in fatty fish, can help lower the risk of stroke by promoting heart health and improving your overall cardiovascular well-being.
- Potassium – Potassium counteracts the effects of sodium, which helps regulate blood pressure levels and, consequently, reduces the risk of a stroke.
Eating a balanced diet with these nutrients is essential to improving overall cardiovascular wellness and reducing the risk of a stroke. But what is an ideal stroke prevention diet?
6 Foods that Prevent Stroke
Fatty fish, such as salmon mackerel and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help promote heart health by reducing inflammation of blood vessels and blood clot formation. The anti-inflammatory properties present in these foods are essential for preventing blood clots and improving your overall cardiovascular health.
Leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, which help neutralise free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, thus reducing the risk of a stroke. A stroke prevention diet rich in leafy greens can also help prevent stroke as the high folate content lowers homocysteine levels.
Whole grains contain various heart-friendly nutrients that can help improve your overall cardiovascular health. These foods also have highly soluble fibre, which can lower LDL cholesterol and minimise the risk of a stroke.
Berries are rich in anthocyanins and flavonoids, which are effective in reducing oxidative stress and neutralising free radicals. Eating a diet with these foods also helps control blood pressure, aiding in the prevention of stroke caused by hypertension.
Avocados are rich in potassium and vitamin E, which help counteract the effects of sodium, reducing the risk of a stroke. They also contain monounsaturated fats that contribute to the reduction of LDL cholesterol levels, improving heart health and managing stroke risk factors.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in proteins, fibre, magnesium, unsaturated fats and magnesium. Incorporating these nutrients into your daily diet helps improve your heart health and lower blood pressure, which helps minimise the risk of stroke.
How to Incorporate Stroke Preventive Foods into Your Daily Meals
There are plenty of practical ways to incorporate these 6 foods that prevent stroke into your everyday diet. Here are a few examples:
- Use leafy greens like spinach and kale in your morning smoothies. Or, mix the greens in salads and soups.
- Bake or grill fatty fish, such as trout and salmon, with herbs and lemons. Alternatively, cook fish tacos using your grilled fish and fresh, steamed veggies.
- Blend berries in your morning smoothies, mix them into yoghurts or use them as snacks throughout the day.
- Opt for brown rice instead of refined grains, choose whole grain options for bread, cereals and other breakfast meals or create a quinoa salad using roasted veggies and lemon dressing.
- Mash avocado and spread it on whole-grain bread slices, blend into a creamy salad dressing or dice it into grain bowls or salads to add a hearty, creamy texture.
- Use nuts and seeds as snacks, sprinkle them on yoghurt or cereal or add them as ingredients in homemade energy bars.
Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle Beyond Diet
Besides incorporating these 6 foods that prevent stroke into your diet, it is essential to embrace a holistic approach to stroke prevention. That starts with prioritising your overall well-being in order to improve your cardiovascular health. If you are looking for guidelines on how to reduce the risk of stroke beyond diet, consider regular physical exercise, implementing stress management techniques, cutting down on smoking and alcohol consumption and adhering to any necessary dietary restrictions.
Although anyone can suffer a stroke, the risk is relatively higher for older adults. For that reason, it is crucial for them to have a live-in caregiver around them as they implement stroke prevention procedures or recover from this medical condition. Contact Veritas care today for a complete care assessment and more information on how to avoid a stroke or minimise the risks for our older adults.