It’s not hard to see why stroke is one of the leading causes of death in America. It can happen to anyone at any time, and often without warning. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, starving the brain of oxygen and causing cells to die. This can lead to paralysis, loss of speech, or even death. While there is no way to completely prevent a stroke, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. One important step is to eat a healthy diet. This article will look at some specific foods you can eat to help lower your risk of having a stroke.
One of the best things you can eat to protect against stroke is sweet potatoes. These delicious vegetables are packed with antioxidants that help prevent damage to blood vessels in the brain. They also contain potassium, which helps regulate heart function and reduce high blood pressure, another risk factor for strokes. Those avoiding carbohydrates should remember that they only need to cut out sugars. Sweet potatoes are high in complex carbohydrates that won’t spike your blood sugar.
Cherries are another powerful food for protecting against stroke. They’re packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation, prevent plaque from forming in blood vessels, and lower bad cholesterol levels. Cherries contain substances called anthocyanins, which have been studied for their potential to help fight Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. However, anthocyanins also helps reduce your risk of stroke because they relax blood vessels, increasing circulation and reducing your chances of a clot forming.
In addition to helping many foods delicious, olive oil has been shown to reduce your risk of stroke. In one study that followed more than 7,000 healthy adults for 10 years, those who regularly consumed olive oil were 40% less likely to have a stroke. This may be because olive oil is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which may help lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of blood clots.
As if you needed another reason to enjoy chocolate, here’s the one that really matters. Eating dark chocolate regularly may reduce your risk of stroke. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to help reduce blood pressure. It’s also a potent source of minerals that may lower your risk, including magnesium, copper, and potassium. Which are all important nutrients for protecting your arteries and brain cells.
Lentils are a staple of many healthy diets and for good reason. They’re low in calories but high in nutrients that help protect you from stroke, including fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, and thiamine. Like most legumes and beans they also provide plenty of protein and are cholesterol-free. They are also high in magnesium, which can help lower blood pressure and prevent the formation of clots that might cause a stroke. Lentils may even help reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes by stabilizing insulin production and reducing blood sugar levels.
Yet another powerful source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps protect you from stroke by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation. It’s also a good source of niacin (vitamin B3), which helps reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides as well as increasing “good” cholesterol. Salmon is also a rich source of other nutrients that help protect you from stroke including vitamin B6, potassium, and selenium.
Quinoa is an extremely healthy whole grain that provides many important nutrients. In addition to being high in fiber and protein, quinoa also contains magnesium. Magnesium has been shown to reduce blood pressure and protect against heart attacks. This anti-stroke food is also packed with iron, which protects your blood cells from damage and reduces the chances of clots forming. Quinoa is one of the best sources of manganese you can eat. As stated before, magnesium is an essential mineral for reducing your risk of having a stroke.
Turmeric is a spice often used in curry dishes. It has several brain-boosting properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Studies have shown that curcumin, an antioxidant in turmeric, can reduce inflammation in the brain and protect neurons from damage. It may also protect you from stroke by reducing the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
Berries are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which help your body absorb iron. They have been shown to reduce blood pressure because they’re packed with potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Berries may also help lower the risk of stroke by preventing plaque buildup in your arteries. While also protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
If you enjoy drinking tea, consider upping your intake to help reduce your risk of stroke. Green tea contains catechins, powerful antioxidants that have been shown to improve heart health by preventing plaque buildup in the arteries. Drinking green tea may also help lower your risk of stroke by preventing blood clots, which can cause a stroke if they travel to your brain or heart.
Broccoli is another anti-inflammatory food that provides a host of heart-healthy benefits, including protecting your arteries and blood vessels. One cup of cooked broccoli provides more than 100% of the recommended daily value (DV) for vitamin K and vitamin C, which help protect against coronary artery disease. Broccoli may also help reduce your risk of stroke by protecting your blood vessels and preventing the formation of clots.
The idea of having a stroke can be scary especially if it is something that runs in your family. However, there is no need to worry! As with most health problems, you can reduce your risk of stroke by making healthy dietary choices. By adding these foods to your diet, you’ll likely improve your cardiovascular system and reduce your chances of having a stroke. If you have any questions about other ways to reduce your risk of having your stroke be sure to speak with your doctor!