World Stroke Day is just round the corner and it’s the perfect time to raise awareness about the lifestyle changes that can prevent stroke and reduce chances of a second stroke. To avoid the risk of stroke, the best thing one can do is to manage chronic diseases like high BP, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and heart disease which could make one more susceptible of getting stroke. Lifestyle changes can play a significant role when it comes to preventing stroke as it can help minimise risk of clogged arteries. Saying no to alcohol, do regular exercise, avoid smoking, losing weight, managing stress can all help. (Also read: World Stroke Day: Warning signs of stroke everyone should know)
Eating a well-balanced diet can be the easiest and quickest change you can make in your lifestyle. Adding fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fibres, protein and other essential nutrients to your diet could help manage almost any chronic disease and prevent clogging of arteries.
Dr. Vikas Gupta Director, Neurosurgery Department, Kailash Deepak Hospital Delhi suggests dietary changes to reduce risk of stroke.
Fruits and vegetables: Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables can help lower the risk of a stroke as these are naturally low in fat and calories, but rich in fibre. Fruits and veggies also contain essential nutrients like potassium, fibre, folate, vitamin A and vitamin C. Potassium rich foods like white potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, prunes, melon and soybeans can help keep your blood pressure under normal range which is considered as one of the leading risk factors of stroke. Food high in magnesium such as spinach also helps minimise the risk of stroke. You should have at least two servings of fruits and include seasonal vegetables on a daily basis to cut the risk of a stroke and maintain a healthy weight.
Consumption of fish: They are high in omega-3 fatty acids and can also play a key role in maintaining your blood pressure and cholesterol health.
Whole grains: These are loaded with fibre, Vitamin B (including folate and thiamin), magnesium and iron which can help minimize the chances of a stroke. Therefore, choosing whole grain bread and cereal, oatmeal and brown rice is recommended. Eat whole grain bread instead of refined white bread.
Opt for low-fat dairy products: No-fat milk, yogurt and cheese can help manage type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and lower risk of a stroke.
Refrain from eating high-cholesterol foods: Fast foods like burgers, cheese, and ice cream can increase the risk of stroke.
Physical activities to prevent stroke
Exercise plays a key role in minimizing several stroke risk factors of stroke such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cholesterol and stress.
– Twenty minutes of brisk walking at least four times a week is considered to be a good exercise. It helps keep the blood sugar under check. It also keeps your heart healthy.
– Practicing yoga is also good to keep you healthy.
– Be active in your daily life- Small everyday activities like walking instead of taking the car, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, gardening and housework help you to stay healthy and lower your risk of having a stroke.