Strokes are the third leading cause of death worldwide, behind only heart disease and cancer. While it’s true that it’s impossible to be 100% sure you’ll never suffer from a stroke, many studies have shown that leading a healthy lifestyle with the incorporation of certain basic foods in your diet can help prevent a stroke by up to 30%.
It’s a worthwhile effort that helps you not only avoid suffering from this disease – it also gives you a better quality of life. So why not start adding these key foods to your diet today? Pay attention to what they are!
Foods that help improve the health of your brain
You might think that the age group that’s most likely to suffer from a stroke is those people between 55 and 70 years old. That’s false. Unfortunately, strokes can occur in younger people just as easily as those who are older.
There is occasionally a genetic or hereditary aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked, but a poor diet and a life filled with stress and anxiety will increase your risk of a stroke. That’s why it pays to eat the right things to reduce your risk and enjoy a better quality of life.
Let’s find out what foods you should eat every day.
1. CarrotsAccording to a 2008 study at Harvard University, eating around five servings of carrots a week could reduce your risk of stroke by 50%.
Although it’s important to be a little skeptical of this data, the natural benefits of carrots cannot be denied – this vegetable is rich in antioxidants, preventing the formation of blood clots and promoting good circulation. It’s a good idea to enjoy carrots whenever you can.
2. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are rich in potassium and folate, essential nutrients to prevent the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries and eliminate toxins from your body through the urine.
3. AvocadosAll you need to do is eat a half an avocado a day. They’re rich in fatty acids that are good for the brain, like omega-3s, preventing cellular aging and oxidation. Remember…half an avocado a day!
Tomatoes are a natural source of antioxidants like lycopene, which is known to help prevent strokes thanks to their ability to reduce blood pressure and improve circulation. It’s all related to a substance known as homocysteine, which is associated with a higher risk for suffering a stroke.
5. Sardines in oilIt’s a good idea to eat these twice a week. Why? Sardines are a natural source of healthy fats, calcium, and vitamin D. They protect your brain naturally, although there is one thing you should know: If you open a tin of sardines and don’t finish them, don’t ever store them in the original can. Transfer them into a glass container or anything other than metal.
6. Melons and watermelon
Both of these fruits have a very high water content and are rich in minerals and antioxidants. They’re low in sodium, making them perfect for reducing cholesterol levels and avoiding atherosclerosis. Be sure you try to incorporate a bowl of watermelon or cantaloupe every day.
7. Green teaYou should never stop drinking that daily cup of green tea. It’s a rich natural source of antioxidants, polyphenols, as well as essential compounds that help reduce cholesterol and fight the cognitive aging process. To get the most benefits from your green tea, remember to consume it 20 minutes after your meals.
When eaten for breakfast, oatmeal can help reduce blood sugar levels and keep the bad cholesterol, or LDL, at bay. Don’t forget that oats are also excellent for reducing stress and giving your brain critical nutrients like zinc and iron. Why not start off your day with a bowl of oatmeal?
Important things to remember about your stroke riskWhile the foods we described above may help reduce your risk of suffering a stroke between 30 to 50%, it’s important that you also consider these aspects:
- You should have a balanced and varied diet. You don’t want to eat the same things every day of the year, but rather to creatively combine foods. For example, as Ly M. Steffen, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, as explained, eating three pieces of fruit, plus three vegetables, can help you avoid suffering a stroke more than limiting yourself to just five pieces of fruit and no vegetables.
- Don’t think that in order to avoid certain diseases that you have to completely restrict what you eat. Definitely not. You should be eating “healthy fats” like olive oil to protect the health of your brain.
- Last but not least, control your stress and everyday situations. Try not to live a life where you forgot to fight your sedentary lifestyle and lose your intellectual curiosity and positive emotions from day to day.
Take care of your overall health and you’ll also be taking care of your brain!