Healthy Diet Decreases Your Risk of Stroke

Everybody has heard about the importance of eating a well-balanced and healthy diet on a regular basis. We also know about the importance of exercise and getting in enough movement every day. What people often do not realize is how much a healthy lifestyle can decrease your risk of specific illnesses and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

According to The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, a stroke typically occurs when something blocks the flow of oxygenated blood to an area of the brain (ischemic stroke). It is usually caused by a blood clot. After a few short minutes, the cells in the brain begin to die off. The other potential cause for stroke is excessive bleeding in the brain, which causes damage to the brain cells (hemorrhagic stroke).

Another condition that is similar to a stroke is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke. This condition occurs when oxygen is blocked to the cells of the brain for a short period of time. All three of these situations are extremely serious and can be fatal if not treated immediately.

There are ways to decrease risk of stroke and TIA’s, and one good way is eating a healthy diet that is nutrient rich and full of antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats and proteins. There are risk factors that can be controlled by living a healthy lifestyle including obesity, overweight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, circulation problems, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, and tobacco usage.

Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit, at a minimum of five servings per day, may help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. It is also important to consume adequate amounts of protein and complex carbohydrates. It is important to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day and avoid alcohol and tobacco usage.

Maintaining a healthy body weight can help reduce complications that can cause stroke. Regular physical activity can help burn calories, maintain muscle mass, and keep the circulatory system strong and healthy. Thus, it is recommended to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 times per week.

A healthy diet will reduce the risk of stroke and many other conditions and diseases. It is important to work with your doctor or healthcare professional to discuss positive lifestyle changes that could help you prevent stroke.