8 Ways to Cut Your Risk of Stroke.
Research recently published showed that eating antioxidant-rich food can cut your risk of a stroke. Researchers from the Karolinska Instituet in Sweden studied data from over 36,000 people over a ten-year period for the research, and found that an antioxidant-rich diet can cut stroke risk, even in those people who already have a history of cardiovascular disease.
In the people studied, researchers found that antioxidants came from a wide variety of sources: 50% from fruit and vegetables, 18% from whole grains, 16% from tea, and 5% from chocolate (good news for dark chocolate lovers!). While there isn’t as much fruit available in winter, there are plenty of other foods from which you can obtain antioxidants. These include kale, Brussels sprouts, beetroot, cranberries and clementines.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke occurs when there is a problem with blood flow to a person’s brain. There are many reasons this can happen, but one of the most common is from narrowing of the blood vessels due to blood clots or furring of the arteries. People with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are more prone to strokes, as are those with diabetes and an uneven heartbeat.
While some people are more at risk of having a stroke than others, and the risk increases with age, there are lots of things that everyone can do to cut their stroke risk. Using advice from the NHS, InfoBus has compiled a top eight list of things you can start doing today.
Top Eight Ways You Can Cut Your Risk of Stroke
(1) Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. As explained above, eating at least five portions a day will cut your risk of a stroke. It will also leave less room for junk food, with contains a lot of saturated fat – the type that furs your arteries.
(2) Choose fish and skinless poultry over red meat. Red meat also contains much higher levels of saturated fat.
(3) Cut down on salt, which is a major contributor to high blood pressure. Add less salt when cooking, and check food packaging for sodium levels. There is often a lot more salt in processed and tinned food than you might think. Experts recommend a maximum of 6g per day.
(4) Exercise regularly. Staying active and getting regular exercise keeps your heart healthy, lowers blood pressure, and improves your body’s ability to burn fats and control sugar levels. It is recommended that you do at least 20-30 minutes of daily exercise, five times per week to gain the most benefit. Walking, gardening and household chores can all count, as long as you do them to a level where you feel warm and slightly out of breath. If you haven’t exercised for a while or have an existing medical condition, check with your doctor before you start.
(5) Stop smoking. Smoking doubles your stroke risk straight away, before any other factors are taken into account. Quite apart from the strain it puts on your cardiovascular system, it also causes the arteries to fur up and makes the blood more likely to clot.
(6) Cut down on alcohol. Drinking alcohol raises your blood pressure, which can increase your risk of a stroke, especially if your circulation isn’t 100% healthy.
(7) Go for screening. The Stroke Association advises people over the age of 40 to go for screening to see if they are at risk. Your doctor can also advise what other lifestyle changes you can make to ensure your risk of stroke is reduced.
(8) Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity increases your risk of many stroke risk factors, such as diabetes, heart disease and hardening of the arteries. Maintaining a healthy diet by following some of the other advice on nutrition and exercise can greatly reduce your risk of a stroke.
For more information on how to cut your risk of stroke, follow the links below:
Written by Simon Morris
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