While some health conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, sleep apnea, blood clotting disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and high blood cholesterol can increase the risk of stroke – there are also some risk behaviors associated with stroke. Furthermore, your risk of getting this brain attack rises as you age (find other unchangeable risk factors in here). The following are some risk factors that you can change through behavior and lifestyle modifications.
It’s undeniable that what you eat can affect your overall health, including for your chance of developing stroke.
In general, foods that are bad for your blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol are the major top lists that contribute to a greater risk of getting this brain attack.
Typically, these kinds of foods also can put you at greater chance of gaining more weight and eventually can cause obesity, because most of them are also loaded with many calories.
Foods high in salt, saturated fats, and trans-fat are the major concern when it comes to preventing or improving hypertension and high cholesterol.
While saturated fats play a key role in increasing your bad cholesterol (medically called LDL or low density lipoprotein), salt (sodium) can retain more fluid in the body that eventually can make your blood pressure increase higher than normal!
However, we cannot totally skip sodium and saturated fats in the diet. In fact, your body also needs them. Getting some salt or even saturated fats are allowed as long as you consume them in moderation.
But if you have hypertension or hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), your doctor can ask you to reduce them ‘much lower’ than the average of what healthy adults consume. See also about the list of foods you need to restrict and eat more to lower blood pressure and cholesterol on this section!
Along with diet low in saturated fats and sodium, it can be much better if this is also followed with healthy and well-balanced diet. Food rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients for your body should be on your top lists.
Remember that each healthy food can contain unique essential properties for the body.
So, make sure you not rely on specific food! Instead, full your diet with a wide variety of healthy foods!
Here are some healthy tips for your diet:
- Olive oil. This healthy oil is rich in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. But for best result in improving your overall health, one that is produced from the first press of olives is more recommended. In the market, this kind of olive oil is usually labeled with ‘extra virgin’.
- Black beans. They are rich in folate, fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium (see also why magnesium is great for your blood pressure in here).
- Salmon. Many experts often recommend this yummy fish for a wide range of health conditions. It contains both DHA and EPA. These omega-3s can provide lots of health advantages, including for reducing blood pressure and stabilizing heart rhythm. Even the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends anyone to get this fish for at least two servings a week.
- Tuna, it is also rich in omega-3s.
- Almonds. They are small in size but can be powerful to improve your overall health. They contain some heart-healthy nutrients such as healthy fats, fiber, and plant sterols.
- Walnuts – another healthy nut! They can help reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol – because they are loaded with healthy fats (monounsaturated fats), fiber, and even omega-3s.
- Soybeans and soy products. Soy is rich in protein and other essential nutrients.
- Sweet potatoes. Unlike white potatoes, they contain complex carbohydrates that can be great to maintain your insulin sensitivity.
- Fruits – most fruits are healthy and great for your overall health.
- Kosher salt. This kind of salt is more recommended if you have hypertension (one of the leading risk factors of stroke). It can expand the salty flavor without adding more actual salt.
- And many more!
In large amounts, alcohol in the body can be harmful for your cardiovascular system. It can be potential to damage your blood vessel walls and increase your blood pressure.
Even according to an outline published by the University of Maryland, frequent intoxication from excessive consumption of alcohol can put you at greater chance of experiencing bleeding in the brain.
So, if you drink alcohol. Make sure to not go more than 2 drinks a day if you are a man and 1 drink a day if you are a woman.
Red wine may be good alternative choice if you drink. It is categorized into alcohol beverages, but some studies found that drinking it in moderation may help improve the health of cardiovascular system.
While poor in exercise or lack of physical activity is a risk factor of stroke, it also can lead to obesity.
Both lack of exercise and obesity are often associated with increased risk of many health problems such as hypertension, type-2 diabetes, heart diseases, and hypercholesterolemia.
Stress is a normal part of your mood, even sometime it is needed. But when you lose control on it, this can harm your health, particularly for your blood pressure.