Strokes have been found to be one of the major causes of life-long disability. This is especially the case as you grow older. If you want to spend your retirement without any strokes or cardiovascular diseases, there are certain habits and foods you will have to give up to prevent a stroke.
The decision is yours, of course, but health is wealth, right? So it can seem unfair that you’re being made to give up certain treats and habits as an older person. But trust us, it’s all for the greater good.
A healthy lifestyle is the only thing that can prevent a stroke from happening. Of course, we acknowledge that family and medical history play a part in this as well. But stroke prevention is still possible. Doctors recommend adopting a preventative lifestyle so that there are no complications later.
Stroke Prevention Is Important
The Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center cites strokes as a preventable cause of death and disability.
Strokes can end up permanently changing you
Strokes can create permanent challenges for patients and their families. People who have experienced a stroke may have a body part so affected by it that they’re unable to use it.
Similarly, patients may have developed personality and mental health changes. These can be, unfortunately, as irreversible as the physical ones. The best way to avoid strokes is to have a preventative approach.
Prevention is the best course
That’s why we advise you to talk about stroke prevention with your physician. People don’t talk about what can be done to prevent diseases. We always focus on what we have. For example, your physician tells you that you have high cholesterol. You will take medication that helps to keep it in check. We don’t ask what it will lead to. It is also crucial to identify the warning signs. Mini stroke symptoms in the elderly often go unnoticed because people are not aware of the signs such as numbness in certain body parts, trouble with balance, vision loss, etc.
High blood pressure, for instance, is the number 1 cause of a stroke. But, unfortunately, that’s not it; the older we get, the chance of developing these medical conditions increases. So the best way to prevent a stroke is to make sure that you’re taking preventative measures.
Stroke prevention has been medically tested to work. So you don’t need to worry about the expense of it either. All you can do is adopt a healthy lifestyle. We’re going to discuss this in more detail below.
What Are Some Healthy Habits a Person Can Follow to Prevent a Stroke?
The American Stroke Association has found that some healthy habits are best for stroke prevention. We recommend that you incorporate these practices into your daily life. So that you never have to worry about strokes and related medical issues.
1. Quit smoking
If you are a smoker, then we’re afraid that you will have to stop smoking immediately. We understand that smoking can be challenging to quit, but it’s not impossible. In fact, compared to other such addictions, it’s actually relatively easy to quit smoking. There are plenty of tools available online which can help you stop.
2. You can also ask your doctor for help!
Smoking is behind some common health concerns for seniors. For example, it causes blood pressure to rise, which, as we know, is linked with strokes. But, apart from that, the tar that accumulates in your lungs will lead to quite a bit of other health problems as well.
3. Control your cholesterol
LDL cholesterol is a kind of cholesterol in your blood that can cause blood clots. It’s the kind of cholesterol you want to avoid as it leads to a heart attack or a stroke. So, to make sure that there’s less of this in your blood, you need to cut back on your fat intake. In particular, you need to cut back on trans fat.
Trans fat is found in fried goods and baked goods. If you cut back on these, you can reduce your cholesterol. Additionally, foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like nuts and fish can also help you.
4. Manage your blood pressure
As we’ve stated above, strokes are directly linked to uncontrolled blood pressure. So, the best way to prevent them is to manage your blood pressure. You can work with your physician to develop a diet plan or exercise regime to help.
There are plenty of resources available online for you as well. For example, you can check an article on managing blood pressure in seniors here.
5. Maintaining a healthy weight
If you maintain a healthy weight, you can avoid having high cholesterol as well as blood pressure. Your body reacts to the kind of food you eat. So, if you’ve been eating something unhealthy like fast foods for a long time, your body will respond.
You’ll be at a higher weight than you should. As a result, your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other things will all be out of control. So, if you begin to try to lose weight and getting to your ideal weight, you will find notable differences for sure.
6. Maintain a healthy diet
Healthy eating is essential. If you want to fix anything in your body, you must ensure that you’re eating right. But healthy eating doesn’t mean that you have a salad every day. Instead, it means that you’ll have to look for healthier options for the fast and processed foods you consume.
This also means that you will have to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. In general, greens are perfect for solving any issue. Everything is available at the grocery stores. If you don’t know where to start, you can even ask your doctor for guidance. They’re actually the perfect people to turn to- especially if you’re doing this for stroke prevention.
7. Become physically active
People assume that competitive sports are part of the equation whenever the word “physically active” is thrown about. Of course, this is true for some people. But you don’t have to have a particularly rigorous lifestyle for it to be considered active.
You could take part in walking for twenty minutes every day. Or, you could also be someone who prefers cycling to work rather than taking your car. You could also be someone interested in hiking every weekend. Besides, there are plenty of exercises for seniors that are safe and effective.
To become active, you can do anything that keeps you on your feet regularly. This can be a sport or joining a jogging group- it’s completely fine.
How Do I Reduce My chances of Having a Stroke?
The adoption of the healthy habits mentioned above is essential to stroke prevention. These habits can reduce your chances of ever having a stroke. But, sometimes you can’t control these things, sometimes you can.
You can’t eliminate your chances of stroke if you have a family history of struggle with heart diseases yourself. But you can treat your diseases and develop the habits we have mentioned to prevent them.
Most people in the United States put off meeting doctors because of the expense. After all, not everyone has medical insurance. But to prevent strokes, you have to go to the doctor when you feel that there’s something off.
Your body will tell you if something’s wrong. You may find yourself feeling drowsy or exhausted for no reason. Perhaps you’re feeling stiff or congested. All these are signs to read. Trust us. A doctor’s appointment is a better option than a full-blown ambulance and surgery cost.
5 Foods to Prevent a Stroke
If you’re wondering if some foods will help with stroke prevention, then you’re in luck! We’ve prepared a list for you down below.
1. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are perfect for preventing any kind of disease. That’s because they’re naturally low in calories and fats but high in other useful nutrients. This includes potassium, fiber, vitamin A and C, folate, potassium, and so much more.
While consuming all fruits and vegetables is ideal, ensure that you have ones with high potassium. This includes bananas, tomatoes, melons, soybeans, and potatoes. They’re all great for managing blood pressure. Also, try to incorporate foods rich in magnesium, such as spinach, since they can lower stroke risks.
2. Low-fat dairy
Dairy items have valuable nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamin D, and potassium. But, if your goal is stroke prevention, then you need to avoid full-fat dairy products.
This is because they have a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol. These are two things which you definitely need to manage. So, choose the low-fat options and benefit from the nutrients they have to offer.
3. Whole grains
It is better to consume loaves of bread that are made of whole grains rather than refined ones. This is because they are stripped of their nutrients during the refining process.
Cereals, oatmeal, and brown rice are all perfect components to add to your diet. They’re rich in vitamin B, fiber, magnesium, and iron, and they’re great for improved heart health.
Flaxseeds and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are very important. This is because these fatty acids ensure that your brain is able to function better. Other examples of foods rich in omega-3 include walnuts and chia seeds.
You can add these to your diet by sprinkling them on top of your meal for garnish. Apart from being so helpful, they also taste great!
Beans are essential as they provide your body with prebiotics. They are indigestible fibers, which promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. Beans are great for those looking to prevent a stroke. They help the formation of good bacteria to keep our bodies healthy.
4 Foods That Trigger Strokes
Now that you know about foods that prevent a stroke, we’ve prepared a list of foods that promote it. This way, you’ll know exactly what you can eat and what you must avoid.
1. Processed foods
If you’re serious about stroke prevention, then you will have to give up on processed foods. This is because processed foods contain trans fat, which causes inflammation.
Inflammation is linked with stroke and other fatal severe diseases. So, it’s best to avoid processed foods altogether.
2. Smoked and processed meats
Smoked and processed meats are made with preservatives that can damage your blood vessels. These preservatives are sodium nitrite and nitrate, which are harmful to our bodies. In fact, nitrates can convert into nitrosamines which are even linked to cancers!
We recommend that you ensure only to consume organic, grass-fed meat. So, for example, when you’re grocery shopping, make sure that it is labeled as 100% beef. If you’re in a location where you probably won’t find this, just limit to how much you consume.
In particular, table salt is very harmful to our bodies. It increases blood pressure and damages the blood vessels. Salt found in processed and packaged foods and table salt are processed. So, they run the risk of these conditions even more.
This is because they’re processed, so most of their natural benefits are lost. We recommend that you opt for natural, unprocessed salt like Himalayan salt. It has been found that natural salt actually ends up regulating your blood pressure.
4. Diet soda
People often assume that by consuming diet soda, they’re cutting back on the sugar in their blood. But, this is far from the truth. While it is good to avoid sugary drinks, there are serious health consequences.
This is because diet soda contains as many processed substances as processed foods. So if you are looking to avoid sugar, then the best thing to do is exclude diet soda from your diet.
3 things to remember:
- Healthy living habit is the best way to prevent a stroke. So, quit smoking, start eating healthy foods and exercise regularly for a better heart.
- Healthy food doesn’t mean tasteless food. Have tasty fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, beans and flaxseeds. Just avoid stroke-triggering items.
- Food items that can trigger strokes are processed foods and meats, salt and diet soda. Avoid them at any cost.
It is vital to prevent a stroke if you want a long and healthy life. We hope that you have a look at the habits and foods we have suggested so that you, too, can enjoy a stroke-free life.
We recommend that you follow these instructions and guidelines for the tea. Then, you’ll definitely feel the difference in your lifestyle and feel much more energized.