Stroke is a serious medical problem that can impair a person depending on its severity. Unfortunately for those with diabetes, their condition can make them more susceptible to this health issue for a number of reasons. Aside from medical treatment, one of the best ways to prevent a stroke is through careful dieting. As with most health problems, certain foods increase or decrease a person’s chance of developing this damaging condition.
We recommend trying to incorporate the following foods into your diet in order to decrease your risk of stroke:
- Beans: These legumes are rich in the nutrient folate (vitamin B9) which has shown to decrease a person’s risk of stroke when consumed regularly. Bean’s excellent nutritional content also promotes heart health, improves digestion and helps individuals control their blood-glucose levels.
- Whole grains: Foods in this category are excellent in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is one of the biggest risk factors for stroke. Eating whole grains by themselves is often not enough, but when combined with proper exercise individuals can see results similar to those achieved by medication.
- Cruciferous vegetables: In general, fruits and vegetables are highly beneficial because they reduce inflammation and prevent the occurrence of heart disease. However, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprout have shown to be particularly effective in this regard. Just 1-2 cups a day of any of these foods can significantly improve your cardiovascular health, which is crucial for maintaining in order to prevent a stroke.
- Fish: Seafood in general can be a great food to reduce stroke because of its ability to improve blood flow, lower LDL cholesterol and improve overall cardiovascular health. Make sure however to consume smaller species of fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, as larger varieties will contain a significant amount of mercury.
- Bananas: As we mentioned before, fruits in general are a great option for preventing stroke, but bananas in particular have shown to be effective because of their rich potassium content. Studies have shown that individuals lacking in this important nutrient are at a significantly higher risk to develop this condition. Bananas with their natural potassium, fiber and antioxidant content are perfect for preventing stroke.
Although simple dietary changes are usually safe, you should always speak to a doctor first before introducing new foods into your diet. This is especially true when what you plan on eating impacts a major organ in the body, such as the heart. As always, make sure to contact your doctor or nutritionist if you have any concerns about your diabetes or the foods you eat.