The right foods that prevent stroke are essential for those who would like to avoid this debilitating and sometimes fatal issue naturally. In this article, you’ll discover more about the foods that help recovery and the best foods to eat after a stroke. Before we get into the risk factors and prevention, let’s learn more about this condition.
A stroke is a result of damage to the brain due to an interruption of its usual blood supply. The interference in the blood supply may be due to 1, a thrombus or blood clot forming in one of the arteries; 2, an embolus or floating fragment of blood clot lodging in a brain artery; or 3, a brain hemorrhage caused by a rupture of the wall of an artery.
While the onset of a stroke is sudden, the underlying cause, typically atherosclerosis, has usually developed over a long period. Three conditions can interfere with the brain’s blood supply. A clot or thrombus forming on the roughened lining of an artery, partially or entirely blocking blood flow through the vessel, can cause a stroke.
High Blood Pressure
A fragment of a clot or embolus breaks off from some other roughened artery or the inner surface of a diseased heart and, carried in the blood, plugs an artery in the brain.
The third possible cause of a stroke occurs when a wall of an artery in the brain, weakened from atherosclerosis or aneurysm, bursts, causing seepage of blood into the tissues of the brain. This complication results from high blood pressure.
The brain’s demand for blood is so great that it receives one-fifth of the blood pumped by the heart. A complete interruption of the blood supply to any part of the brain causes permanent damage to brain cells within about five minutes. About 80 percent of deaths from stroke occur in people sixty to eighty years of age. Four out of five people survive their first attack, but many remain severely handicapped.
Often, sure warning signs precede a significant stroke. These are called ministrokes or transient ischemic attacks and are associated with vascular changes such as the formation of small clots or the constriction of blood vessels. Specific forms of migraine may also produce similar stroke symptoms.
Foods that prevent stroke
FRUIT: The more fruit you eat, the lower your risk of getting a stroke. Fruit makes the blood more fluid and reduces its tendency to clot within the blood vessels, which puts it on the list of foods for stroke patients.
VEGETABLES: Vegetables possess an effect similar to fruit, and their use also lowers stroke risk.
GARLIC: Garlic reduces the stickiness of blood platelets that result in clots. This food improves arterial blood flow and is excellent for eating after a stroke.
OLIVE OIL: Olive oil acts in the same manner as fish oil to reduce clotting tendencies but without drawbacks. Olive oil is a super food, which makes it a great addition to the foods that prevent stroke.
FISH OIL: Fish oil is one of the best foods that prevent stroke because it reduces clotting tendencies thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids that it contains.
More Foods That Lower The Risk of Stroke
WHEAT GERM: Wheat germ oil contains the highest concentration of vitamin E. One tablespoon comprises three times the RDA for this potent antioxidant. The essential fatty acid, linoleic acid, is the predominant fatty acid in this oil, with its lowering effect on cholesterol levels.
WALNUTS: Walnuts are heart-friendly, making them a great addition to the list of anti-stroke foods. They inhibit the obstructive buildup of cholesterol on the artery walls by reducing blood cholesterol levels. The lower the risk of stroke and arteriosclerosis, the less cholesterol in the blood, and circulation is improved.
ONIONS: Onions prevent arteriosclerosis, stroke, and the formation of clots within the arteries and veins. It can also improve the circulation of the blood in the coronary arteries. Regular consumption of onions in any form enhances blood flow in the arteries and reduces the risk of suffering a serious complication such as heart attack or stroke. This makes onions among the top foods that prevent stroke.
Top Stroke Preventing Supplements
Frequently Asked Question
DASH vs. Mediterranean vs. MIND: Which diet reigns supreme for stroke prevention?
All three offer significant benefits! DASH excels at lowering blood pressure, Mediterranean reduces inflammation, and improves cholesterol, while MIND focuses on brain-protective nutrients. Consider your individual needs and preferences. You can even blend elements from each for a personalized approach.
Beyond fruits and veggies: Which lesser-known dietary icons protect against stroke?
Berries: Rich in anthocyanins, linked to improved blood vessel function and reduced inflammation.
Nuts and seeds: Excellent source of fiber, magnesium, and healthy fats, all beneficial for stroke prevention.
Spices: Turmeric and ginger boast anti-inflammatory properties, while cinnamon may improve blood sugar control.
Soybeans and tofu: Plant-based source of protein and isoflavones associated with lowered stroke risk.
Omega-3s: Fatty friends or fishy hype?
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and blood clotting. Aim for 2-3 servings per week. Plant-based options like flaxseeds and walnuts offer some omega-3s, but consider supplementation if fish intake is low.
Can specific food groups increase stroke risk?
Excess red meat, processed meats, and sugary drinks are linked to higher stroke risk. Limit red meat to occasional indulgences, choose lean cuts, and opt for whole grains and water-over-processed options.
Salt reduction: How low can you go?
Current guidelines recommend less than 2,300mg/day, but aiming for 1,500mg is ideal for stroke prevention. Prioritize fresh, unprocessed foods, prepare meals at home, and substitute salt with herbs and spices for taste.
Beyond the plate: What dietary habits impact stroke risk?
Portion control: Maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on blood vessels.
Mindful eating: Savor your food, chew thoroughly, and avoid distractions to prevent overconsumption.
Regular mealtimes: Avoid skipping meals, which can lead to blood sugar fluctuations and unhealthy snacking.
Supplements: Can pills replace a healthy diet?
Focus on a balanced diet first. Supplements like folic acid and vitamin D may be beneficial in specific cases, but consult your doctor for personalized recommendations.
DISCLAIMER: All content on this website is presented solely for educational and informational objectives. You should not rely on the information provided as a replacement for advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified medical expert. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have any preexisting medical concerns, you should talk to your doctor before using any herbal or natural medicines.
- George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 1. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 127. Print.
- George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 87, 67, 144. Print. [foods that prevent stroke]
- Hardinge, Mervyn G and Harold Shryock. “Family Medical Guide.” Hardinge, Mervyn G and Harold Shryock. Family Medical Guide. Ed. Marvin Moore and Bonnie Tyson-Flynn. Vol. Three. Oshawa; Washington, D.C.; Hagerstown: Pacific Press Publishing Association; Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1999. Three vols. 42-43. Print.
- American Stroke Association
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/index.htm
- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16434724/
- Mediterranean diet: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/mediterranean-diet/
- MIND diet: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-can-the-mind-diet-improve-brain-health-2/
- Stroke prevention through diet and nutrition: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/STROKEAHA.117.017383
- Specific foods and nutrients:
- Berries: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12509072/
- Nuts and seeds: https://foodtolive.com/healthy-blog/top-5-best-foods-stroke-recovery-vegans/
- Spices: https://www.healthline.com/health/stroke/alternative-treatments
- Soybeans and tofu: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19494552/
- Omega-3 fatty acids: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6888676/
- Food groups and stroke risk: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-not-to-eat-for-stroke-prevention/
- Dietary habits and stroke risk: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-21st-century-stroke-prevention-strategies/
- Supplements for stroke prevention: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/01.str.0000185929.38534.f3
- DASH Eating Plan: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16434724/
- Mediterranean Diet: https://oldwayspt.org/
- MIND Diet Score Sheet: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-can-the-mind-diet-improve-brain-health-2/
Last update on 2024-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API