Strokes occur when blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain are blocked or rupture. Did you know:
- Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke
- Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke
- Every 3.5 minutes, someone dies of a stroke
- About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked
- Stroke risk increases with age
According to an article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is true – and alarming. What can you do to help prevent a stroke? Before we cover that, we need to be aware of what exactly causes them.
Most often, strokes occur because of risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, obesity, and medical conditions like atrial fibrillation, heart disease, and diabetes, according to the CDC. Although quitting smoking and increasing physical activity can be helpful, you should also reduce your risk of stroke through food choices.
Reduce trans fats and saturated fats, manage high cholesterol and blood sugar, and follow a heart-healthy stroke diet consisting of the following foods.
Rich in fiber, antioxidants and vitamins while being low in calories, fruits and veggies are a great way to manage your risk of stroke. Try eating more of these for better health:
- Blueberries and strawberries
- Oranges and grapefruit
- Sweet potatoes
- Kale and spinach
Foods like oatmeal, whole grain bread, bagels, wraps and pitas, quinoa, whole grain pasta, and brown rice are high in fiber, iron and vitamin B, helping to manage other conditions that can lead to a stroke.
Dairy products carry vitamin D, calcium and other nutrients that could lower your risk of stroke. Instead of reaching for high-fat dairy products, reach for those with a lower fat content – or none at all.
- No-fat or low-fat milk
- Low-fat yogurt, especially those high in probiotics
- Low-fat cheeses
- Light cream cheese or cottage cheese
Many fish are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which support good cholesterol and blood pressure. Aim to eat salmon, tuna and other types of fish often to reduce your stroke risk. You can also eat other lean proteins, like chicken, and even vegetable protein and nuts like almonds to reduce your risk.
Avoid eating a lot of red meat, which is known to increase your risk.
The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, shares that certain types of oils can be healthier for you than other types. These can include:
- Rice Bran
Try to use these oils as opposed to butter, margarine and tropical oils like coconut and palm oil, which can be bad for your health.
Waterstone at Wellesley knows how important the right diet can be for managing health. This is why our chefs take the time to get to know you, your health conditions, your needs, and your tastes. With this knowledge, they create healthy, nutritious meals tailored to you.
Led by our executive chef, our culinary choices and experiences rival those of a five-star restaurant. Residents enjoy the finest cuisine featuring:
- A seasonal, evolving menu of distinctive chef-prepared meals
- Fresh, locally sourced ingredients
- Anytime dining at our restaurant
- Al fresco dining available
This, tied together with wellness opportunities, helps our residents prevent strokes and other health conditions, ensuring they can live as healthy and happy as possible.
For more information on how a healthy diet can help prevent strokes, contact our team. Or, for more senior resources, visit our blog.
Waterstone at Wellesley offers independent living and assisted living options in Wellesley along the bank of the Charles River. Schedule a visit today to experience our lifestyle and learn how we help seniors thrive.