Stroke is one of the major health problem in the world today. It is the third leading cause of death worldwide after ischemic heart disease and cancer.
According to the American Heart Association’s 2018 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, someone in the U.S. has a stroke about once every 40 seconds, and a stroke accounts for 1 of every 19 deaths in the U.S. In Nigeria, the current prevalence of stroke is 1.14 per 1000 while the 30-day case fatality rate is as high as 40% according to the World Health Organisation.
Stroke is a life-threatening medical condition that incurs hefty expenses. In the United States, it’s estimated that health care services for stroke total $34 billion each year.
However, by eating more food that prevents stroke, you can help improve certain health conditions that increase the risk of the stroke. Below are some of the best foods that help prevent stroke
The body needs about 4700 mg of potassium each day, the amount that is considered adequate enough to meet nutritional standards. According to the American Heart Association, low potassium levels are caused by high blood pressure or hypertension, which can lead to heart attack or stroke if not managed. Just one cup of dried apricots has about 1,511 milligrams of potassium, which is equivalent to 32 per cent of your daily needs. It is also more than the milligrams of potassium foundin a medium sized banana.
Oatmeal (for whole grains)
Oatmeal has become popular as a stroke preventing food once the American Heart Association endorsed it. The AHA recommended eating three or more servings of fiber rich wholegrains everyday and oatmeal is one of them.
A medium-sized potato with the skin still intact contains less than 20% of your daily needs of potassium. This is more than double the amount a medium-sized banana provides. Add more potatoes into your weekly meal prep to maintain healthy potassium levels to steer clear of high blood pressure and stroke.
Dietary flavonol, a powerful antioxidant found in onions can help lower your risk of stroke by 20%. This number could help motivate more people to cook healthy meals at home that include onion.
A Study in Neurology finds tomatoes may help lower your risk of ischemic stroke– blockage of a brain artery that starves cells of oxygen and causes them to die. Lycopene seems to have some beneficial effects when it is in the form of fruits and vegetables. Also, tomatoes have antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to help protect against cell damage from molecules known as “free radicals” and “singlet molecular oxygen”. Some have suggested that antioxidants may have a protective effect against stroke by reducing damage to blood vessels.
About 100 grams of this tropical fruit contains 5.2 milligrams of lycopene. It adds a vibrant hue to a fruit-topped salad, so consider adding it to your office lunch!
Over the years there have been several studies that have linked nut intake with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Walnuts, in particular, contain polyunsaturated fats, including alpha-linoleic acid. This type of omega-3 fatty acid can help with inflammation.
There are also some types of food to avoid in preventing stroke. Studies show it is important to reduce your intake of the following foods: High cholesterol foods, salty foods, and dairy.
Also, a meta-analysis on meat found a 10% increased risk of stroke associated with each three-and-a-half-ounce daily portion of red and processed meat. The haem iron in meat has also been found to be associated with stroke risk, while no association was found between the non-haem iron in plants and stroke.
By replacing unhealthy foods with these healthier options, you can improve your health and reduce your risk of stroke.