You have a lot of control of your risk factors of having a stroke. In fact, 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through your lifestyle! This means things like what you eat, whether you exercise, and how you sleep.
Today we’re going to discuss a select number of therapeutic foods you can add to your diet that will help reduce your risk.
Cold water oily fish
Fish like wild salmon, mackerel and sardines are rich in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids that also help prevent blood clots. Systemic inflammation increases your risk of experiencing a stroke, and omega 3s reduce systemic inflammation. Eat oily fish twice a week for these benefits.
Steel Cut Oats
The soluble fibre in oatmeal helps balance your cholesterol and lower your blood sugar levels. Eat steel cut oats daily as part of your breakfast.
Garlic has been shown to reduce the risk of blood clots that lead to strokes, as well as other risk factors such as high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and high cholesterol. Add garlic to your meals daily to not only make meal time more healthy, but extra delicious!
Dark chocolate (aim for 80% cacao or more) is rich in polyphenols which may help protect against stroke by lowering blood pressure. It’s also rich in antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals we’re exposed to in our environment that can contribute to systemic inflammation and damage in the arteries. Eat a square or two daily.
Leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard and kale are rich in the nutrient folate which is known to help reduce homocysteine levels through methylation in the liver. High homocysteine levels have been found to increase damage in the arteries which can lead to blood clots. Eat at least 2 cups of greens either cooked or raw daily.
Traditionally made bone broth (not the kind you find on the shelf in the store) reduces systemic inflammation. Rich in the amino acid glycine, it is also helpful to balance the amino acid methionine which is found in meat-heavy diets and is connected to high homocysteine levels.
Save the bones from your meat to make bone broth which you can then add to soups and stews or simply drink it!
While there may be a considerable list of foods to avoid in your diet to help prevent your risk of stroke, it can sometimes be more empowering to start with healthy foods you can ADD! I hope you enjoy adding these foods to your grocery list.
We want to provide nothing but the highest quality information and advice for our followers to improve their health, which is why at Truehope Canada, we're happy to say our writer is a Certified Life Coach and Registered Holistic Nutritionist.