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Stroke: lifestyle factors that should be changed and essential dietary advice to reduce risk

A stroke can occur when there is a disturbance in the blood supply and nutrients to the brain or when blood vessels rupture and bleed. Brain cells will start to deteriorate within minutes, causing a medical emergency requiring medical attention to prevent brain damage and other complications.

Best diet to prevent strokes. (Photo: Everyday Health; Getty Images)

Lifestyle factors that increase the risk of stroke

Some of the risk factors for stroke are out of control, such as age, gender, and family history. However, there are many controllable factors that are related to lifestyle. Here are some according to

  • Arterial hypertension– It is the most important risk factor for stroke because it can weaken and damage the walls of the blood vessels, which leads to brain hemorrhage or thickening of the artery walls.
  • Diabetes– It gives the person twice the chance of having a stroke as it contributes to the development of atherosclerosis.
  • Lack of exercise– A sedentary lifestyle is linked to obesity and high cholesterol, which are major risk factors for stroke.
  • Alcohol– Heavy drinkers, regardless of their age, are three times more likely to have a stroke, especially a hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Illegal drugs– Intravenous (IV) drugs increase the risk of stroke due to blood clots, while cocaine and other drugs are associated with heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.

Essential dietary advice to reduce the risk of stroke

According to, lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of stroke. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help prevent strokes, which means they should avoid eating junk food. Instead, a snack on fruits and vegetables is advised.

The Stroke Association said at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day are recommended, especially those high in fiber. More so, they should cut down on fatty and salty foods, as well as red meat, which can raise cholesterol levels and clog the artery.

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