Foods That Are Linked to Stroke You Should Stay Away From
Date : Mar 03, 2020
Author : DR Armed Zayed
Around 795,000 individuals experience a stroke every year solely in the U.S, research shows. This health issue is estimated to cost the country a staggering $34 billion every single year, which makes it a serious life-threatening and extremely expensive condition to deal with.
But, what most people don’t know is that 80% of stroke cases are preventable, meaning you don’t have to spend an absurd amount of money or put your life in danger. As long as you take the right approach, you will always be on the right track, especially if you know which foods to steer clear of.
Different foods have been linked to different types of strokes, and learning to stay away from them can make a difference. But we will also discuss the foods that help prevent stroke. By adding more of these foods, you will be able to significantly reduce your risk of stroke.
Why Do Your Food Choices Matter?
While some people may doubt the effects of a good diet, studies show it has a huge influence. A solid diet can reduce the chance of stroke up to 80%, and when paired with other healthy behaviours like exercise, for example, the rates can easily go above 80%. But, as much as a good diet can help you prevent stroke, bad food choices can have complete reverse effects. It makes people more vulnerable to coronary heart diseases, especially stroke.
Which Foods Should You Steer Clear Of?
A typical Western diet can increase the risk of stroke by a shocking 58%. Different foods have been linked to different types of strokes. If you want to stay healthy, then you need to know what foods to skip. Here are the most dangerous foods for your heart health:
- Red meat
- Cholesterol-Rich foods
- Diet Soda
Not every type of salt can affect the heart. In fact, there are two versions of salt, the unrefined and the processed version. The processed version is most widely used in processed foods. It’s devoid of any natural nutrients and is packed with chemical preservatives that increase the chance of heart issues and cancer by 20%.
The unrefined version, like Himalayan salt, for example, is completely different. This type of ingredient is a vital component in many biological processes. It boosts the overall cardiovascular health by keeping the blood pressure in check and the proper lining of the blood vessels.
2. Red Meat
Processed red meat has a similar negative effect on cardiovascular health as processed salt does. It’s packed with additives and chemicals that make it a lot harder for the system to absorb any nutrients and carry them to the heart. But, grass-fed meat, no matter if it’s red meat or poultry, is excellent for health. It promotes a healthy body, heart, and properly functioning system.
3. Cholesterol-Rich Foods
Supplying the body with an excessive amount of cholesterol causes massive fatty deposits to stack in the arteries. In the long run, these deposits can cause stiffness and narrow passage walls for the blood to travel, which increases the chance of blood clotting and stroke.
4. Diet Soda
According to research, people who consume diet soda or any other drink packed with artificial sweeteners have a higher risk of experiencing stroke than those who avoid these drinks altogether. Excessive consumption has the chance to deteriorate the heart’s health with time and expose it to potential heart diseases in the future.
5. Canned Soup and Microwave Meals
Many of us have little to no time to cook a proper meal. So, instead, we rely on pre-prepared meals that can be easily warmed in the microwave. Maybe that is saving us time, but is it saving us from stroke and other health issues? The answer is no.
Once again, these foods are filled with lots of salt to help improve their taste. Canned soup is perhaps the worst of them all with chicken noodle soup containing more than 1,000 mg salt per can.
The healthcare UK is working towards the goal of reducing the salt intake to no more than 6 gr a day for adults. It would be wise for you to move to that goal as well. Replace the old microwave dinners with a freshly-cooked meal. And if your busy schedule does not allow that, you can always meal prep over the weekend. That way you will have enough yummy food for the whole week.
6. Store-Bought Pastries
Maybe you are not a fan of the good-old microwave dinners, but you like to start your morning with a muffin from the local pastry shop. Ask yourself – Is that a smart choice that you are making? Or is it perhaps just as harmful as eating an entire hamburger?
The truth is that store-bought pastries are often high in trans fats. The manufacturers are using hydrogenated oils that help the pastry stay fresh without keeping it in the fridge. Such trans fats are also found in most salad dressings, fast food, and microwave popcorn, among other foods that cause a stroke. The best would be to avoid them completely. Instead, you can prepare some healthy, delicious muffins at home and take them on the go.
Foods that prevent stroke
After eliminating so many food choices, you are probably wondering what is there left to eat. Not to worry, because there are many choices if you know where to look, that is. So here are 6 amazing foods that prevent stroke.
First on our list are avocados. A rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as potassium. Now you may recognize potassium as the mineral that prevents muscle spasms. But it does a lot more than that. Potassium also takes part in regulating one’s blood pressure. A study showed that by increasing their potassium intake, individuals were able to reduce their stroke risk by 24%. That is some amazing news.
A single cup of pureed avocado offers you around 1,116 mg of potassium. That is enough to satisfy about 24% of your daily potassium needs. Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated fats. This type of fat increases the “good” cholesterol levels while reducing the “bad” cholesterol levels. Having too much of the “bad” cholesterol will clog up your pores and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. So, you see, there are quite a few reasons why you should increase your avocado intake.
Next, we have cashews that are perfect for snacking. Cashews represent a valuable source of magnesium. One ounce of cashews offers 74 mg, covering 23% of the daily magnesium need for women.
Science has proven that the increased intake of magnesium, like potassium, leads to a lower risk of stroke. Cashews can be used as a healthy snack. But they can also be added to stir-fry veggies and salads to enrich their taste. Just make sure that you choose unsalted cashews to avoid eating too much salt.
Speaking of magnesium, there is another rich source that we should not fail to mention. That is spinach. Spinach is a true nutrient-packed veggie. It is a source of a handful of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, folate, calcium, iron, and many more. Spinach is a great source of antioxidants as well. This is also one of the foods that help stroke recovery. If you are a stroke survivor, make sure that you eat more spinach. Added to smoothies or salads, spinach is the perfect superfood to fit into your diet.
4. Dark chocolate
We have not forgotten about those of you who have a sweet tooth. Our advice is to focus on eating more dark chocolate to help improve your health. Eating dark chocolate can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, according to a 2017 study. A few facts would explain that. Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, iron, and other trace minerals, all of which are important for having healthy blood flow. It is also filled with fibre and antioxidants which we explained as being important in stroke prevention.
The next food on our list is lycopene-rich. Lycopene is a phytonutrient that has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thanks to its high lycopene content, this summer snack is a part of the stroke prevention diet. A 2012 study explained that by eating watermelon, hypertension patients successfully managed to normalize their blood pressure levels.
6. Flax seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids are also great at reducing high blood pressure levels. Flax seeds happen to be the perfect Omega-3 fatty acids-packed food. The best of all is how easy it is to incorporate flax seeds into your diet. Sprinkle some of these heart-shaped seeds into your salad. Add some to your soup or smoothie. Or have a tablespoon of flaxseeds mixed in a cup of Greek yoghurt. The options are endless and your body will thank you for it.
Since stroke can happen without warning, it’s crucial to take the right steps and prevent this health issue. For those looking to take the proper measures, it’s important to start removing certain foods from your diet. In the long run, this can help you obtain your goals for a healthy life.