Role Of Food In Stroke & Stroke Prevention

Introduction

The moment we hear someone we know just had a stroke, it’s a gut-wrenching feeling. It’s something you wish your loved ones never have to go through. Unfortunately, as I have noticed this deadly trend of stroke attacks is only climbing & affecting more younger populations with each passing day. 

All this got me thinking. What is a Stroke? Are all strokes equally bad? Is there a way to prevent stroke? Or are we all resigned to the fate of rapidly increasing lifestyle disorders?

 

**This is not a medically accurate article. If you are experiencing any symptoms contact your doctor immediately.

 

What Is Stroke?

Stroke is classified as a lifestyle disorder. When a stroke happens, you lose blood flow to part of your body. This usually happens because of atherosclerosis disease. Atherosclerosis is when a buildup of plaque makes arteries narrow. There may be other reasons why blood flow decreases to certain parts of the body.

 

  • Transient Ischemic Attacks involve clots in arteries that usually cause symptoms of an illness but go away by themselves. TIA usually causes temporary problems with vision, memory, or speech, but it does not increase the risk of stroke.

 

  • Ischemic Stroke causes a blood vessel to close off completely, blocking blood flow to the brain. Symptoms include paralysis or weakness on one side of the body; sudden numbness or tingling of an arm or leg; dizziness or loss of coordination; trouble speaking or understanding speech; vision problems such as blurred vision or double vision; confusion; slurred speech; seizures; or sudden severe headache. Complications include damage to other parts of the body due to a lack of oxygen-rich blood reaching them (particularly the heart and kidneys), resulting in coma, death, or serious disability.

 

  • Hemorrhagic Strokes are often fatal because bleeding into the brain causes death. Strokes may cause sudden loss of control of arms, legs, face, speech, sight, hearing, and sometimes swallowing and breathing (respiratory arrest). The types of hemorrhages are subarachnoid and intracerebral. Subarachnoid refers to an injury to the membranes that cover the brain–the meninges. Intracerebral means inside the brain.

 

What Is Lifestyle Disorder? 

Hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, behavioral problems, higher cholesterol, and obesity affect more people now. People get trapped with these diseases at a younger age when they adopt unhealthy and inappropriate lifestyles.

 

High-calorie diets without exercise may lead to weight gain. Improved nutrition and medical care have helped to extend life spans. However, industrialization, economic liberalization, and the widespread use of modern technologies have led to an epidemic of obesity. A high-calorie diet without physical activity results in health problems including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer.

 

Does Physical Activity Help?

Aerobics & light workouts can help reduce risk factors for lifestyle disorders and a person’s overall health. Physical activity helps control body weight in both children and adults.

 

How does Smoking Contribute to the Rising Number of Stroke Cases?

Smoking cigarettes greatly increases your chances of suffering a stroke. Quitting may lower your risk of stroke while still smoking. Ask your doctor for advice about how to stop smoking. Don’t start if you aren’t already a smoker.

 

Role Of Diet In Prevention Of Stroke

As we discuss how to prevent stroke, we also have to look at what causes them. Let’s go through that one by one.

 

Let’s look at an example: A person who weighs over 200 pounds and is 5’6″ tall has a very high chance of having a stroke. This is because people who weigh more than this have a higher risk of having a stroke.

 

Cholesterol

Your doctor should test your cholesterol level at least once every 5-years. A simple blood test can determine if you need treatment. You may be prescribed medication or told to make some lifestyle changes to lower your risk for stroke.

 

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure should always be monitored by a health professional because there may be serious consequences if left untreated. Having high blood pressure means you need more than normal amounts of blood circulating through your body. Your doctor can help assess whether or not your blood pressure needs to be treated, but if you do experience any symptoms, make an appointment for a checkup right away.

 

Sodium is bad for health because it causes high blood pressure. You should avoid salt if possible. Your doctor may ask you to eat less salty food, or he might give you medication to reduce your blood pressure. Your diet might be altered to make it more healthy.


Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body metabolizes glucose or blood sugars. People who have diabetes must test their blood sugar levels often.

 

Talk with your healthcare team. You should talk about lifestyle modifications including exercise and eating healthy foods. This will help you stay under good control of your sugar levels and reduce your risk for stroke.



Dietary Measures To Cure And Prevent Stroke

Bring Variety To Plate

A healthy diet consists of many different kinds of food. Eating a wide range of produce gives us the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for good health. Eat diverse meals daily.

 

Eat Vegetables Of Different Colors

People must eat various kinds of nutritious fruit and vegetable dishes. They should always select a variety of colorful foods when dining out. This helps them get vitamins.

 

A rainbow approach means eating foods in different colors. This can help you consume a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. These colors come from a mixture of the primary pigments found in plants. Red includes carotenoids such as lycopene and beta-carotene; orange contains vitamin C; yellow contains lutein; green contains chlorophyll; blue contains anthocyanins and tannins; purple contains flavonols and anthocyanidins, and white contains vitamin B2.

 

Choose Five Different Kinds Of Fruit And Vegetable Daily.

Fruits and vegetables are considered healthy because of their vitamin content. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake can lead to a happier life by increasing energy levels.

 

Learn To Read Food Labels

Reading food labels is a great way to reduce your risk of stroke. You’ll get nutrition facts for every serving of the product to help you choose healthier options. For example, read this list of items on the label: 

  • Calories per serving 
  • Total fat grams per serving 
  • Saturated fat grams per serving 
  • Trans-fatty acids per serving 
  • Cholesterol per serving 
  • Sodium per serving 
  • Dietary fiber per serving 
  • Carbohydrate per serving 
  • Sugar per serving 
  • Protein per serving 
  • Vitamin D per serving 
  • Calcium per serving 
  • Iron per serving 
  • Folate per serving 
  • Omega 3 fatty acid content per serving 
  • Amount of salt added

 

Healthier shopping doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. Healthy eating means taking into account what foods you eat and how much of them.

 

Reduce Consumption Of Saturated And Trans Fat And Cholesterol

Limit your intake of saturated and Trans Fat and Cholesterol! Avoid them at all costs! This is because people who eat these things tend to get heart disease more often than those who don’t.

 

Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance made inside your body and found in meats, eggs, dairy products, and seafood. Foods high in cholesterol contribute to heart disease. The most effective diet includes less red meat and more vegetables.

 

A high level of cholesterol in your blood can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke. You should try to lower your cholesterol by eating healthy food. Healthy foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and fish. Avoid saturated fats (fatty foods) and trans-fats (hydrogenated oils).

 

Saturated fats are associated with higher cholesterol levels. Diets high in saturated fats increase your chances of getting heart disease. Eating less fat is essential to prevent strokes. Palm oil and other types of oils are often used in fast-food restaurants because they have a low cost and longer shelf life than most cooking oils.

 

Diets high in trans fat cause fatty buildup in your liver and other organs. This causes inflammation and heart disease. Trans fat increases the level of cholesterol in the blood. Trans fats are unhealthy fats created by the process of turning unsaturated oils into saturated ones. Foods that contain trans fats include crackers, cookies, cake mixes, fried foods, and fast food.

 

Processed foods contain partially hydrolyzed fats (PHF). These fats raise cholesterol levels. You should avoid them if you already have high cholesterol as it dramatically increases the chances of a stroke or worse a recurring stroke.

 

Limit the amount of trans fat you eat by avoiding foods made with saturated fats such as butter, margarine, lard, and shortening. Choose liquid vegetable oil over solid shortening when making baked goods. Use unsweetened cocoa powder and non-dairy creamer instead of regular powdered milk and cream in baking. And use peanut butter instead of regular butter and margarine when making recipes calling for them.

 

Reduce Intake Of Sodium

Sodium chloride (NaCl) is the chemical symbol for common table salt. People often add salt to their food when cooking or eating out. But most people do not eat enough sodium each day. There are many easy ways to get rid of excess sodium in your diet, such as by drinking more water instead of sodas or other sugary drinks.

 

Reduce Consumption Of Sodium Using the Following Tips:

  • Herbs and spices are the most inexpensive, healthy foods you can eat. Salt and garlic salt may be added to some dishes, but they are generally unnecessary. When cooking or baking, use fresh herbs instead of dried ones. Don’t add salt or garlic powder to your sauces, salad dressings, soups, or stews because these additions usually contain sodium.
  • Food processing doesn’t add any nutrients or flavors to foods. Instead, it removes them. Sodium helps preserve foods by preventing spoilage. Most of the sodium in our diet comes from processed foods. Cutting out fast food and processed junk food could help you lose weight. You’ll get plenty of nutrition if you eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Give preference to fresh ingredients when possible and foods with no or minimal amount of salt added.
  • Frozen entrées should contain around 300mg of sodium. This is too much! Try eating lower-sodium foods instead.
  • Don’t choose snack foods as the first thing you want to eat after you wake up. This is because most snack foods contain lots of salt. You should try eating something healthier than snack foods. Eat fruits or vegetables instead of salty snacks.

 

High Fiber Foods For The Win!

Fiber helps lower LDL cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels are associated with cardiovascular diseases. Fiber makes us feel full and helps our bodies digest food properly. Eating more fiber also lowers our cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of stroke, and keeps us healthy overall. It may also help in weight management.

 

How To Introduce Fiber To Diet?

  • Whole grains are full of fiber. Fiber keeps the digestive system clean. This helps you stay healthy by keeping out bad bacteria.
  • Eat fruits as whole foods instead of juices or purees.
  • A nutritious dish made with beans and salad greens. The fibers contained in the beans make them easier to digest.
  • Whole grains provide many health benefits such as a lower risk of heart disease, less cancer, stronger bones, etc. They also absorb more nutrients than refined grains do. In addition, they’re usually cheaper, taste better and make you feel healthier.
  • Whole wheat pasta and brown rice both contain more fiber than regular pasta and white rice. Rice is inexpensive and easy to prepare, making it an excellent choice for everyday meals.
  • Top yogurt or cottage cheese with fruits or nuts.
  • Add flavor to soup using vegetables, dried beans, or grains.
  • Buy brown rice instead of white rice.
  • A granola bar or trail mixes are good snacks when you’re hungry because they provide plenty of energy. You should eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, granola bars, or trail mixes to stay healthy.

 

Role Of Nutrition In Cases Of Stroke





Additional Content

Freshly prepared meals should be used whenever possible. Salt should never be added to any meal because it destroys the taste of other foods, especially vegetables. Adding salt to your cooking increases the sodium content in your body. This can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, or even death. To avoid adding salt to your dishes you can use sea salt instead of regular table salt. Sea salt contains minerals that help improve health and reduce the risk of disease. You may also wish to consider using herbs and spices to add flavor to your dishes. Herbs and spices provide nutrients that your body needs such as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These beneficial compounds help maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.

You can cook with herbs and spices by choosing them based on what you want your dish to taste like. For example, if you are making chicken soup, you might select garlic powder and dill to give your broth some flavor. Choosing the right spices goes beyond simply adding flavor to your dish. Many herbs and spices can benefit your health. Some examples include oregano which helps lower cholesterol levels, cinnamon which helps boost metabolism, and garlic which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.