Dietary Do’s and Don’ts: Foods That Protect Against Stroke


Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 strokes are preventable. Lifestyle changes, especially nutrition, have the power to dramatically reduce your risk of stroke and other health problems. 

“You can reduce your risk of stroke in just 3 months by changing your lifestyle. Not only can you prevent your first stroke, but if you’ve already had one, you can also prevent a second one.” ‘It’s never too late to make a change,’ says Sasha Bayat, a dietitian at Brigham General Hospital in Massachusetts and a member of the Department of Nutrition and Health Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. says the doctor. By modifying your diet to accommodate dietary preferences such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. 

“It’s important to be kind and considerate to yourself when changing your diet and lifestyle. You don’t have to make drastic changes. Just add more fruits and vegetables to your daily routine or make one change at a time. ‘No,’ she says.

Mediterranean diet: 

Bayat says the Mediterranean diet is a dietary or lifestyle approach that is strongly associated with stroke risk reduction. It is based on traditional cuisine from countries facing the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece and Italy. 

Fruits (at least 5 servings per day)

Healthy fats such as fatty seafood, nuts, seeds, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil 3 Beans and other legumes 

Vegetables (at least 3 servings per day)

Whole grains like quinoa 

“Nuts and olive oil are examples of healthy fats that are easy to incorporate into your daily life. Studies show that 1 ounce of nuts, 1/4 avocado, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil 

She recommends eating 1 ounce of nuts a day. It reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and supports overall vascular health. Nuts are also a source of unsaturated fats, which reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL, also known as “bad cholesterol”). ). Beets and other red and purple foods: Beets have a lot of red color and are good for your health. The idea is to incorporate purple fruits and vegetables. Beets, in particular, can help lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease, one of the biggest risk factors for stroke. 

“Research shows that drinking an 8-ounce glass of beet juice can lower your systolic blood pressure (a measurement of your systolic blood pressure) by 5 to 8 points,” she says. “Beets are rich in nitrates, which dilate (open) blood vessels and improve blood flow throughout the body.”

Red or purple plant foods, such as beets, pomegranates, cherries, red grapes, berries and blue-violet leafy vegetables, also contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. Antioxidants help prevent and repair damage to cells and DNA. DNA damage can accelerate aging and increase the risk of disease. 

Eating more antioxidant-rich foods may improve blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Many of these foods also contain fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol. 


Sprinkling cinnamon on your food is an easy way to reduce your risk of stroke. It works to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar levels, inflammation and LDL, which are important risk factors for stroke. 


“Oatmeal is a great option,” says Bayat. “It’s very rich in fiber, and it’s actually fermented fiber. When you heat it and then let it cool for a few minutes, fermentation begins, which produces a special type of beneficial fiber in your intestines. Builds fiber. It feeds the bacteria.” This means the food contains fiber, and eating oatmeal can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Apples in Your Diet Contains cholesterol-lowering fiber 

Apples (and pears) are also rich in an antioxidant called quercetin. Prevents blood clots, relaxes arteries and improves blood flow. Contains potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Lowers. Other foods rich in potassium include bananas, beans, avocados and sweet potatoes. 

Beans are a powerful food. Beans contain nutrients like dietary fiber, potassium and magnesium that lower blood pressure. .It helps remove cholesterol, relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.

Limit salt and sugar to reduce stroke risk: 

Limiting salt and sugar is an important step to reduce stroke risk. Most people should consume less than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day. For maximum effect, as little as 1,500 mg (about two-thirds of a teaspoon) is fine. 

When it comes to sugar, Bayat recommends no more than 25 grams (about 2 tablespoons) per day. “The less refined or added sugar, the better. Sugar can cause inflammation in the blood vessels and brain,” she says. 

But Bayat says salt and sugar may be useful in unexpected ways. “When you start getting used to a food you don’t like, adding a little salt or sugar will make it easier to get used to over time,” says Bayat. You are trying to include it in your diet. If you add a little salt and gradually reduce the amount of salt over time, you can adjust it according to your taste and preference. 

Healthy Ways to Prevent Stroke: 

Changing your eating habits can be difficult. Bayat offers some suggestions. 

Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. 

Eat a handful of nuts as a snack every day. 

Eat at least one fruit or vegetable. 

Add healthy alternatives to the foods you already enjoy, like eggs, smoothies and sandwiches.

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