Stroke: The easy food swaps with the best types of exercise shown to reduce your risk
A stroke, or “brain attack,” occurs when blood circulation to the brain fails. Brain cells can die from decreased blood flow and the resulting lack of oxygen. Two key steps you can take will lower your risk of death or disability from stroke include controlling stroke’s risk factors and know stroke’s warning signs. When it comes to controlling the risk factors, diet and exercise are of paramount importance.
Too much salt can increase your blood pressure. You should not eat more than six grams (or a teaspoon) of salt per day.
Much of the salt we eat is hidden in processed foods like ready meals, crisps, nuts, cake and biscuits and processed meats.
Avoid adding salt to food when you’re cooking or at the table.
Try instead using fresh ginger, lemon juice and chillies or dried herbs and spices to flavour food instead.
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Eating saturated fats can raise your cholesterol.
To reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat, try to eat lean cuts of meat and take the skin off poultry, advised the Stroke Association
It added: “You could use beans or lentils to replace some of the meat in stews and curries.
It’s a good idea to eat two portions of fish every week, especially oily fish like mackerel, sardines or “salmon, as these contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can prevent blood clots and lower blood pressure.”
Vegetarian or vegan sources of protein include tofu, mycoprotein (such as Quorn), textured vegetable protein and tempeh.
Health experts advise doing activities that raise your heart rate.
Try to do at least 2.5 hours a week of moderate to vigorous exercise.
One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week.
Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before you start an exercise program.
Low-intensity exercise, if done daily, also can have some long-term health benefits and lower the risk for heart problems that may lead to stroke.
These may include:
- Gardening and other yard work
According to the National Institute of Ageing, common early symptoms of a stroke include:
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, or trouble talking or understanding speech
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
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