Strokes can be prevented or delayed with some simple lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. You can also lower your risk of stroke by managing high blood pressure and diabetes. Here’s how:
High blood pressure causes most strokes.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension, then you’re well aware of the health risks that it poses. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack and stroke—the number one cause of death in America—and can also lead to kidney disease and blindness.
High blood pressure is called so because it causes the arteries to narrow over time, which requires more work from your heart to pump blood around your body. The greater the strain on your heart muscle during each contraction (called systolic pressure), the more likely you are to have a stroke or other cardiovascular event such as heart failure or angina.
About ⅓ of people with high blood pressure don’t know it.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will prescribe medication to treat the condition. However, if you don’t know that you have high blood pressure, there is a chance that these drugs may not be effective or even necessary.
There are many ways to check for high blood pressure:
- Check yourself – Blood pressure monitors can be purchased online or in stores and are relatively affordable ranging from $10-$50 depending on the quality of monitor or type of cuff used. These monitors are simple and easy to use but tend to provide inaccurate readings because they rely on an arm cuff which tightens around your arm when inflated with air instead of directly measuring blood pressure from within your arteries like an arterial catheter does at a doctor’s office or hospital (which would cost more money). Be sure to follow instructions carefully when using one so as not to get a false reading!
- Talk with your doctor – Your doctor may want you take a home monitoring kit like those mentioned above but he/she can also perform tests on his/her own as well such as placing two fingers over your wrist near where an artery pulses while checking other vital signs such as heart rate and temperature; if these things seem normal then it could mean that no further testing is required since they indicate normal functions elsewhere too!
The DASH diet can help lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet can help lower blood pressure. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a healthy way to eat for your heart. It’s loaded with fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and other foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. And there’s more: research shows the DASH diet can lower blood pressure by as much as 9/5 mm Hg in people who have high blood pressure (hypertension).
In addition to eating a healthy diet like the DASH plan, exercise is also important for lowering your blood pressure. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week—and up to 60 minutes per day if you’re able to do so safely without causing harm or injury to yourself or others around you.
The DASH diet is a healthy way to eat for your heart. Think about how you can improve your eating habits.
Heart health is important for a lot of reasons. Your heart can be a ticking time bomb, but it’s also responsible for keeping you alive. If your heart is working properly and beating at its best, then you will live longer and have less risk of having a stroke.
The DASH diet has been shown to help prevent high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke and heart disease. The diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains while limiting sodium (salt), saturated fats, added sugars and cholesterol. Here’s what the plan looks like:
- Eat five servings of fruits or vegetables every day
- Choose whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates like white breads or pastas
- Reduce sodium intake by 2 grams per day (that’s about 1 teaspoon)
There are other things that are great for your heart besides eating healthy foods too! You should exercise regularly whether it be jogging outside or biking in your neighborhood – anything that gets your heart pumping will do wonders for you!
Two servings of fresh fruit and three servings of vegetables every day are good for your health and lower your risk for stroke.
- Two servings of fresh fruit and three servings of vegetables every day are good for your health and lower your risk for stroke.
- For maximum benefit, try to include a variety of colors in your diet: red, orange, yellow and green fruits and vegetables.
- Fruit is usually easier to eat than raw veggies, so if you’re not a fan you may want to consider juicing them instead!
If you want more information about how to get more fruit and vegetables into your diet check out these tips:
Use less salt in cooking and at the table.
- Use less salt in cooking and at the table.
- Look for low sodium options, such as low sodium soups, breads and cereals.
- Use herbs and spices such as garlic and onion powder instead of salt to flavor foods.
Maintain a healthy weight through physical activity and eating nutrient-dense foods, such as whole grains, lean protein, vegetables and fruit.
- Be physically active.
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Physical activity can include anything that makes you move your body, such as walking or gardening. The key is to find an activity you enjoy and do it regularly. If you have been inactive, start slowly and gradually increase how much time you spend being active each week.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods from all food groups. Choose nutritious foods such as whole grains, lean meats and poultry low in saturated fat, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products to help reduce your risk for stroke or coronary heart disease (CHD).
You can prevent or delay a stroke by making changes to your lifestyle
- Avoid smoking.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains; limit salt intake; eat low-fat dairy products or non-fat ones if you’re lactose intolerant.
- Keep your blood pressure in check.
- Get your blood pressure checked regularly, even if it’s normal now. Your blood pressure may have been high in the past but could have returned to normal without you even knowing it. High blood pressure can occur without any symptoms during most of its development so many people are unaware they are at risk until it causes a stroke or heart attack. If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), make lifestyle changes to bring it back down to normal levels: stop smoking; keep alcohol consumption moderate; exercise regularly – this can help lower both systolic (the higher number) and diastolic (the lower number) readings by 2 mm Hg for every 10 minutes spent exercising on average per week!
The good news is that you don’t have to wait until you are having a stroke to take action. By starting today, you can protect yourself from stroke. You should start by eating more fruits and veggies, less salt and more whole grains. Next, make sure that your blood pressure is in range by taking medication if necessary. Also, do some type of exercise every day! All these things will help keep your risk of stroke low