Factors that place someone at a greater risk of having a stroke include genetics, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Most of these risk factors can be significantly lessened by adopting a healthy diet. Maintaining a consistently healthy diet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol while helping you to lose weight. By lessening your risk factors of stroke, you also reduce your risk of developing heart disease. A healthy diet is an invaluable component of not only heart and brain health but general wellbeing.
Healthy diet tips for preventing stroke:
- Reduce sodium intake: Sodium is a major contributor to high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major contributor to stroke and heart disease. Processed and pre-packed meals bought from the store are known for being extremely high in sodium. Opting for fresh, home-cooked meals can help in lowering your sodium intake.
- Make smarter protein choices: Not all protein is the same. Lean meats are a better protein option as they result in lower cholesterol levels when being processed through the liver. Smart protein options include salmon and other fatty fish, lentils, and various nuts and seeds.
- Consume more fruits and vegetables: Dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, apples, and pears are healthy options for decreasing stroke risk. Fruits and vegetables will also provide your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that your body needs for proper function.
- Increase potassium intake: The potassium mineral can work to relax blood vessels, dispose of excess sodium, and lower blood pressure. Potassium can be found in bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, and fish.
- Avoid smoking and excessive drinking: Both excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are contributable factors for stroke.
Gain an awareness of the stroke risk factors that apply to you and actively work against them. You can increase your health and decrease your risk of stroke by adopting a healthy diet and making other smart lifestyle changes. Learn more about stroke prevention tips by clicking here.