Stroke Therapy

A stroke occurs when blood flow to a portion of the brain is interrupted, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching brain tissue.  About 87 percent are ischemic strokes, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked either by a clot or atherosclerotic plaque. The remaining 13 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic strokes, caused by bleeding in the brain due to the rupture of a blood vessel. 1

Causation and Risk factors

Elevated blood pressure is the chief risk factor for both types of stroke; however, other causal factors differ between the two.1,2 There have been countless studies on dietary factors and their relationship to ischemic stroke risk. Within the past few years, new meta-analyses have strengthened these dietary links. In particular, higher fiber intake is associated with reduced risk, while higher red and processed meat intake is associated with increased risk.

Red and processed meats are calorie-dense, micronutrient-poor, saturated fat-rich foods. Another major concern regarding red and processed meats as it relates to heart disease and stroke is heme iron. The human body absorbs heme iron, the form of iron found in animal foods, more readily than nonheme iron from plant foods.

Iron is an essential mineral that transports oxygen in the blood and has many other crucial functions, but it can also promote free radical damage, called oxidative stress when excess is present. As a result, high body iron stores are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases that have an oxidative stress component: for example, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.3-7

When it comes to increasing stroke risk, heme iron promotes oxidation of LDL cholesterol and elevates blood pressure. Several previous studies have found that higher heme iron (or red and processed meat) intake was associated with higher blood pressure, and higher nonheme iron intake (or plant food intake) was associated with lower blood pressure.8-12 However, it is not merely the high iron in meats that promote atherosclerosis; many other factors play a role, including their growth promoting effects.

Another recent meta-analysis reported on five studies of red and processed meat and stroke risk, and found substantial risk increases in ischemic stroke risk: for each 100 gram increment of red meat eaten daily there was a 13 percent increase in risk, and for every 50 grams daily intake of processed meat there was a 11 percent increase in risk. Processed meats are nutrient-poor and high in heme iron like red meat, but have additional sodium, which is likely why the authors found a steeper association of processed meats with stroke.13

Develop:

Iron oxidizes cholesterol, big problem.

The plaque in our arteries (including the arteries in our brain) is built out of cholesterol.Eggs and brains themselves are the two most concentrated sources of cholesterol.

Prevention

Basic lifestyle changes can have a big impact in reducing stroke risk. In fact, according to research, stroke is 80% preventable by addressing lifestyle factors, including improving diet, stopping smoking, and getting regular exercise.

Greater intake of high-fiber foods, such as beans, is consistently linked to lower blood pressure.14 Foods that are higher in fiber tend to have a lower glycemic load, which limits the rise in insulin after a meal; elevated insulin levels contribute to elevated blood pressure.

Also, high-fiber foods are usually rich in phytochemicals and minerals like potassium and magnesium, which help to keep blood pressure in a healthy range. 15-21 In addition to reducing blood pressure, high fiber foods improve several factors relevant to atherosclerotic plaque formation, such as cholesterol and triglyceride levels.22-24

A recently published meta-analysis on fiber intake and risk of stroke analyzed data from six prospective studies, including over 300,000 subjects.25 In this analysis, for every 10 gram increase in daily fiber intake, there was a 12 percent reduction in risk. A previous analysis of data from ten studies found that each 10 gram/day increase in fiber intake was associated with a 24 percent decrease in risk of death from heart disease.26

Ten grams is the approximate amount of fiber contained in 2/3 cup of beans or lentils, 2 cups of cooked collard greens, or 2 1/2 cups of blueberries. The average daily intake of fiber in the U.S. is a meager 16 grams,27  whereas a Nutritarian diet, depending on one’s caloric needs, provides about 60-80 grams of fiber daily.

High fiber from whole foods that enable this degree of protection against stroke, not adding fiber to a standard American diet. It is more than just the fiber in fiber-rich foods that offers this protection.

The studies mentioned here add to the already huge body of evidence showing that whole plant foods are health-promoting, while red and processed meats are disease-causing. Between the excessive amounts of protein and heme iron, new findings on detrimental effects of red meat compounds Neu5GC28 and carnitine,29 and the volume of evidence linking red and processed meats to cancer and premature death,30-37 there is no question — these are dangerous foods. People who still desire to eat meat, should eliminate processed meats entirely and think of using red meat in their meal in small amounts as a condiment, only to be used once a week.

Section C

Holistic Solutions to Reduce Risks and Reverse Stroke Damage

Conventional medications and surgeries used to prevent stoke and cerebrovascular disease are often associated with side effects and are limited in their ability to target the multiple factors that contribute to stroke. Life Extension emphasizes a global stroke prevention strategy. This strategy includes a series of preventive measures such as reducing chronic inflammation, maintaining healthy body weight, reducing cholesterol, suppressing homocysteine and fibrinogen levels, and lowering blood pressure (Houston 2010).

Mediterranean Diet. The traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, and low in red meat and sweets (Fung 2009). Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced all-cause mortality and lower incidence of several age-related diseases, including stroke (Mitrou 2007; Fung 2009). A 2011 study found that strict adherence to a Mediterranean diet decreased the likelihood of ischemic stroke irrespective of cholesterol levels, age, and gender (Kastorini 2011). In a separate population study, adherence to a Mediterranean diet significantly decreased the risk of ischemic stroke, heart attack, and vascular death (Gardener 2011). In a study surveying over 70 000 American women, a “prudent” diet of fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains was associated with a lower risk of total and ischemic stroke compared to a “Western” diet high in processed meats, refined grains, and sweets (Ding 2006). Consuming a Mediterranean diet low in red meat and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can also curtail excess homocysteine levels in people genetically prone to high homocysteine (Dedoussis 2004).

Targeted Nutritional Interventions

Olive leaf & olive oil. The Olea Europaea plant is an important constituent of the diet of Mediterranean cultures, and has anti-hypertensive and anti-atherosclerotic effects (El 2009). The leaves of the olive tree contain the active compounds oleuropein and oleacein. In a human trial, 1000 mg daily of olive leaf extract reduced blood pressure (Perrinjaquet-Moccetti 2008). Pretreatment with 100 mg/kg of olive leaf extract has also been shown to reduce brain damage in a rat model of ischemic stroke (Dekanski 2011). Olive oil also contains heart-healthy compounds. A French study showed that older subjects who consume olive oil in both cooking and in dressing have a 41% lower ischemic stroke risk compared with people who never use olive oil (Samieri 2011).

Nattokinase. A 2008 study demonstrated that nattokinase, an enzyme extracted from fermented soybeans, is helpful in reducing blood pressure in patients with hypertension (Kim 2008). The participants that received 2000 fibrinolytic units (FU) of nattokinase daily for 8 weeks had a reduction in systolic and diastolic pressure of almost 6 mmHg and 3 mmHg, respectively. Nattokinase breaks apart the protein fibrinogen, which contributes to blood viscosity and clotting. This reduction in blood viscosity may be one of the ways that nattokinase affects blood pressure. Nattokinase also inhibits the elevation of angiotensin II in the bloodstream (Fujita 2011).

L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine. L-carnitine is an essential co-factor in the metabolism of lipid molecules into cellular energy. L-carnitine has been shown to be neuroprotective in rat models of ischemic stroke (Wainwright 2003). Laboratory studies on human tissue specimens demonstrate that L-carnitine causes vasodilation. In one laboratory study, L-carnitine selectively inhibited a platelet-activating factor, demonstrating that L-carnitine has a protective effect against thrombosis in ischemic stroke. In a sample of 9 ischemic muscle specimens from 5 patients with vascular disease, L-carnitine levels were low, but were restored 2 days after a single injection followed by a 30-minute infusion of propionyl-L-carnitine (Andreozzi 2009). In an animal model of ischemic stroke, pre-treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine decreased brain damage (Zhang 2012).

Vinpocetine. Vinpocetine is derived from the chemical vincamine, which is an extract from the leaves of the lesser periwinkle plant. Since its synthesis in the 1960s, vinpocetine has shown both neuroprotective and cerebral blood-flow-enhancing properties. It is widely used in cerebrovascular disease in Japan, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Germany (Patyar 2011).

Vinpocetine has neuroprotective effects due to its ability to block sodium channels and calcium channels in brain cells, preventing excitotoxicity and death of brain tissue (Bereczki 2008). Animal models reveal a role for vinpocetine in blocking inflammatory processes. This is significant because chronic inflammation leads to endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis, increasing the risk for stroke. In an animal model of ischemic stroke, damage to a brain area known as the hippocampus was reduced from 77% in untreated animals to 37% in animals treated with vinpocetine (Patyar 2011).

Vitamin D. Evidence from clinical trials suggests that vitamin D plays a modest role in blood pressure control (Witham 2009). Vitamin D regulates blood pressure by modulating calcium-phosphate metabolism, controlling endocrine glands, and improving endothelial function. Vitamin D deficiency appears to be an independent risk factor for stroke incidence in Japanese-American men (Kojima 2012) and Korean men (Park 2012). A recent study also showed that individuals whose vitamin D levels were greater than 30 ng/mL had the lowest incidence of heart attack and stroke (Park 2012). Vitamin D may also promote normal insulin metabolism (Houston 2010).

Vitamin B6, B12, and Folic Acid. B-vitamin therapy has been shown to lower homocysteine levels and independently reduce stroke risk (Saposnik 2009). Homocysteine levels can become elevated when serum B12 level are below 400 pmol/L (Spence 2011). Analysis of data on 5522 participants in a large trial to assess the role of B-vitamins in stroke risk reduction (the HOPE-2 trial) demonstrated that treatment with folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 lowered plasma homocysteine levels and overall stroke incidence. In this study, the incidence of both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke was lower in the vitamin group compared to the placebo group (Saposnik 2009). A 2012 review of 19 different studies found that B-vitamin supplementation reduces stroke risk by approximately 12% (Huang 2012a). Another 2012 study supported those findings by demonstrating that supplementation with folic acid can reduce stroke incidence by 8% (Huo 2012).

Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in certain fat sources such as cold-water fish and flaxseed oil (Houston 2010). Studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids help regulate blood pressure and reduce platelet aggregation, inflammation, LDL-cholesterol, and other atherosclerosis risk factors (AHA 2010). A 2006 review article indicated that omega-3 fatty acids have a significant protective effect against cerebrovascular disease (Wang 2006). In a mouse model of ischemia, 3 months of treatment with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) blunted inflammatory responses after an ischemic stroke and decreased brain damage (Lalancette-Hebert 2011).

Omega-3 intake may slow the progression of atherosclerosis by reducing plasma triglyceride levels (Mozaffarian 2011). In short-term clinical trials, consumption of omega-3 fatty acids stimulated nitric oxide production, which enhances the dilation of arteries and improves blood flow throughout the body. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to improve endothelial function and prevent abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) (Mozaffarian 2011; Reiffel 2006; Singer 2004). The American Heart Association suggests that some people may not get enough omega-3 fatty acids through diet alone and that these individuals should consider taking a dietary supplement (AHA 2010).

Garlic. Some clinical trials have found that increased consumption of garlic can lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Consumption of approximately 10 000 mcg of the active ingredient allicin, the amount contained in about four cloves of garlic, per day appears to be necessary to lower blood pressure (Houston 2010). A review of studies demonstrated that garlic consumption appears to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 16 and 9 mmHg, respectively (Reinhart 2008).

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA, an endogenous steroid hormone derived from cholesterol, is the most abundant circulating steroid in humans. DHEA improves arterial dilation and protects against endothelial dysfunction, a risk factor for stroke (Kawano 2003). In a study of over 300 postmenopausal women, higher levels of DHEA-s, a major metabolic derivative of DHEA, were associated with less severe stroke (Pappa 2012).

Vitamin C. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble antioxidant that improves endothelial function. Numerous observational and clinical studies have documented that dietary intake of vitamin C can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Evaluation of published clinical trials has shown that intake of 250 mg vitamin C twice daily lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by about 7 mmHg and 4 mmHg, respectively. Vitamin C may lower blood pressure by reducing binding of angiotensin II to its receptor. Vitamin C also appears to enhance antihypertensive effects of some blood pressure medications (Houston 2010).

Flavonoids. Flavonoids are naturally occurring antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, red wine, and tea (Houston 2010). A 2012 study showed that increased intake of flavonoids is associated with reduced risk of ischemic stroke in women, and that consumption of citrus fruits can reduce overall stroke risk (Cassidy 2012). An animal model showed that a single intravenous dose of the flavonoid resveratrol improved cerebral blood flow by 30% and protected against ischemia-induced brain damage (Lu 2006).

Rutin. Rutin is a flavonoid that occurs naturally in buckwheat and some fruits (eg, apples) (Kreft 2006; Lata 2009). Rutin inhibits an enzyme called protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), which participates in blood clot formation. Among nearly 5000 agents screened as potential PDI inhibitors in one study, rutin was one of the most potent (Jasuja 2012). An animal model showed that rutin inhibits the formation of blood clots (Jasuja 2012).

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Astralagus

Tumeric

Turmeric. A spice, turmeric may lower cholesterol levels and help prevent blockages in arteries

Ginger

 

 

Black or green tea

Tea blocks heme iron…great…cholesterol etc.

Tea contains plant nutrients called flavonoids, which can help decrease cholesterol and blood pressure. Drinking at least 3 cups of black or green tea per day may help reduce your risk of stroke. Researchers in one study found that people who drank this amount of green or black tea had far fewer incidences of repeated stroke.

Black tea may be especially helpful for diabetes management. The compounds in black tea mimic the effects of insulin and prevent starch from turning into sugar.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables aren’t just good for your physical health. Researchers in a 2016 study found that eating more fruit may increase happiness and well-being as quickly as the next day. Eating eight portions per day may increase life satisfaction and help lower stress levels.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate concentrate is high in antioxidants and phytosterols, which are plant steroids that lower cholesterol. Taking pomegranate concentrate with low-dose statin therapy or the regular use of cholesterol-lowering drugs can help reduce cholesterol, according to the Israeli Institute of Technology. It may also lessen a statin’s side effects, such as muscle pain. Yoga is a good option for low-impact exercise. According to the Harvard Health Blog, research findings suggest that yoga may improve stroke recovery, especially for people with balance issues or fear of falling. Yoga promotes smooth physical movements, improved breathing, and mental focus that may have been lost after a stroke.

Another popular exercise for stroke prevention and recovery is tai chi. Tai chi is a Chinese exercise consisting of slow and graceful movements practiced in a semi-squatting position.

Research from 2015 showed that tai chi helps improve body balance and reduces depression and anxiety. In 2017, many of those same researchers published a study suggesting that tai chi has a role as a protective measure against ischemic stroke in older adults.

Manage  weight

Maintaining a healthy weight, and a healthy body fat ratio or body mass index (BMI), is a good way to manage many risk factors for stroke.

If most of a person’s body fat rests around the waist instead of the hips, then they have a greater risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Women with a waist size greater than 35 inches and men with a waist size greater than 40 inches also have a higher risk of these conditions, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Stress

High levels of stress are linked to a significantly increased risk of stroke, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Learn relaxation techniques to reduce tension in your mind and body.

Massages

Massages can help increase blood flow to an affected area, especially for stroke-related muscle problems. In one study, massages decreased pain, increased health, and improved movement after stroke.

A few studies in China also found that external counterpulsation (ECP) treatments might encourage recovery in people who’ve had an ischemic stroke.

ECP treatments involve wrapping cuffs around the hips, thighs, and calves. These cuffs inflate and deflate, creating a massage-like sensation and helping blood flow to the brain.

Researchers at the S.H. Ho Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Centre in Hong Kong found that one-hour ECP treatments for 35 days increased blood pressure by 13 percent, heart function by 74 percent, and blood flow to the brain by 9 percent.

Other techniques aromatherapy, meditation, sleep See article

Benefits of acupuncture

Acupuncture involves a practitioner inserting small needles into specific points of the body. It’s known to help ease pain and manage other muscle problems affected by stroke. A similar therapy is acupressure, which uses pressure instead of needles on the same points as acupuncture.

There isn’t enough scientific evidence on acupuncture’s effectiveness for stroke prevention. But some research has revealed overall improvements in people’s quality of life, including positive effects on mobility.

Acupuncture is considered safe when an experienced and licensed practitioner applies it.

Supplements

Some supplements may cause negative side effects when used with certain medications. Check with your doctor before taking any extra nutritional or herbal supplements.

Vitamins and nutrients

Little scientific evidence exists that indicates supplements can prevent stroke directly. But some research suggests that they can help reduce risk and improve recovery. You may find benefits from taking the following:

•Folic acid, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12. Certain B vitamins could help to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are linked with an increased risk of stroke.

•Betaine. Research shows that the amino acid betaine may lower levels of homocysteine.

•Vitamin C. This vitamin may aid in repairing blood vessel damage and reducing plaque buildup in the arteries.

•Vitamin D. Supplements of this vitamin may be beneficial because low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of artery-blocking strokes, especially in people with high blood pressure.

•Vitamin E. Taking supplements of vitamin E may help with memory impairment.

•Omega-3 fatty acids. In general, omega-3 fatty acids may improve cholesterol levels. One type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), may also prevent cell damage, according to a study performed on rats.

•Magnesium. The mineral magnesium may lower blood pressure, according to a study in the journal Hypertension.

The AHA recommends getting your vitamins and nutrients primarily through food rather than supplements.

Herbal supplements

Herbal supplements are a popular choice for people who prefer natural remedies. The following herbal supplements may improve blood circulation in the brain and help prevent another stroke:

•Ashwagandha. Also known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has antioxidant properties that may prevent and treat stroke. A 2015 study explored its effect on mice.

•Bilberry. This berry may improve cholesterol and lower blood sugar.

•Garlic. Preventing blood clotting and destroying plaque are two potential benefits of garlic.

•Asian ginseng. A staple of Chinese medicine, Asian ginseng is said to improve memory.

•Gotu kola. This herb has been shown to boost cognitive function in people who’ve had strokes.

•.

You’ll want to avoid these supplements if you’re taking warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin (Bayer), or any other blood-thinning medications. They’ll thin your blood even more. Always ask your doctor first before taking any additional supplements.

Innovation with regard to the TNF pathway

Pending

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

 

Conclusion

Using CAM treatments to manage controllable risk factors can be helpful for stroke prevention and recovery. Along with important lifestyle changes, treatments such as acupuncture or supplements can make a difference.

 

References

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•Vitamin supplements: Hype or help for healthy eating. (2017).

healthyforgood.heart.org/Eat-smart/Articles/Vitamin-Supplements-Hype-or-Help-for-Healthy-Eating

•Zhang X, et al. (2016). Effects of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials. DOI:

10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.07664

•Zheng G, et al. (2015). Design, methodology and baseline characteristics of Tai Chi and its protective effect against ischaemic stroke risk in an elderly community population with risk factors for ischaemic stroke: A randomised controlled trial. DOI:

10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009158

•Zheng G, et al. (2017). Subjective perceived impact of Tai Chi training on physical and mental health among community older adults at risk for ischemic stroke: A qualitative study. DOI:

10.1186/s12906-017-1694-3

Aspirin and-or wine ?

1 Available at: http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_305054.pdf. Accessed March 3, 2015
It has two sub-types, hemorrhagic and ischemic and the latter make up the majority of all strokes, almost 80% of the total[2] susceptibilities of neurons in the brain to injuries such as ischemia leading to difficult treatment of suffered patients from the involved diseases.[3]
2 Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/types_of_stroke.htm. Accessed March 3, 2015.
3 Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stroke/signs. Accessed March 3, 2015.
4 Kochanek KD, Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2013. NCHS Data Brief, No. 178. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept. of Health and Human Services; 2014.

Following acute phase of stroke, some procedures and medical treatment such as thrombolytic agents has been recommended; nevertheless many patients have enduring deficits. Thus, there is a realistic need to develop treatment strategies for reducing neurological deficits.

Stem Cells

However, the stem cell (SC) therapy could arrange an alternative intervention for disease modifying therapy. In this article, we present a brief review of different methods of SC therapy in stroke patients and discuss the results with different cell types and routes of administration. (Source)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23776716

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678210/

Following acute phase of stroke, some procedures and medical treatment such as thrombolytic agents has been recommended; nevertheless many patients have enduring deficits. Thus, there is a realistic need to develop treatment strategies for reducing neurological deficits. However, the stem cell (SC) therapy could arrange an alternative intervention for disease modifying therapy. In this article, we present a brief review of different methods of SC therapy in stroke patients and discuss the results with different cell types and routes of administration. (Source)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23776716

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678210/

13 May; 4(Suppl 2): S139–S146.

PMCID: PMC3678210
PMID: 23776716
Stem Cell Therapy in Stroke: A Review Literature

component id=’MainPortlet’ label=’search-reference’/ Book content
main-content
Future Neurol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Mar 17.

Published in final edited form as:
Future Neurol. 2015 Aug; 10(4): 313–319.

13 May; 4(Suppl 2): S139–S146.

PMCID: PMC3678210
PMID: 23776716
Stem Cell Therapy in Stroke: A Review Literature

component id=’MainPortlet’ label=’search-reference’/ Book content
main-content
Future Neurol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Mar 17.

Published in final edited form as:
Future Neurol. 2015 Aug; 10(4): 313–319.

 

Question and Answers

What is the best way to avoid strokes

The best way to avoid suffering from a stroke is to eat a whole food, plant-based diet centered around vegetables, lentils, beans, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and nuts.

But to get the full benefits, plant-strong eaters must have a regular, reliable source of B12 — meaning B12-fortified foods or supplements.

Why Do Plant-Based Diets Lower The Risk of Stroke?

One reason why plant-based diets protect against stroke is due to the fiber found in whole plant foods.

Studies find that for every seven grams of fiber you eat per day, you get nearly a 7% drop in the risk of first-time stroke. But less than 3% of Americans meet the minimum daily recommendation for fiber.

Plant foods are also filled with antioxidants. Antioxidant-packed foods help reduce inflammation and prevent plaque buildup in the arteries, and they also improve blood flow.

In a study of more than 30,000 older women over a period of 12 years, those who ate the most antioxidant-rich foods had the lowest stroke risk. (However, choosing antioxidant supplements didn’t appear to help.)

On average, plant foods contain 64 times more antioxidants than animal foods. But you should always strive for a variety of fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices at every meal, so you can continuously flood your body with a wide range of antioxidants.

What The Science Says About The Best Foods to Prevent Stroke

Nuts

In one study, adding an ounce of nuts per day seemed to cut the risk of stroke in half.

In the U.S. alone, this could prevent 89,000 strokes per year.

Greens

According to studies led by Harvard researchers, greens turned out to be associated with the strongest protection against major chronic diseases, including a 20% reduction for strokes (and heart disease) for every additional serving.

Chocolate

According to population studies that followed people over time, those who ate chocolate appeared to have lower rates of stroke.

But the sugar and dairy that come with most types of chocolate aren’t linked to positive health outcomes, so dark chocolate with high cacao content is the best choice.

Citrus fruits

Citrus intake has been associated with lower stroke risk.

According to a study of 70,000 women published in the journal Stroke, women who consumed the most flavonoids from citrus fruits over a 14-year period had a 19% lower risk of stroke than women who consumed the fewest.

Whole grains

Eating whole grains has been found to be associated with a reduced risk of stroke.

In his book How Not to Die, Dr. Greger recommends at least 3 servings of whole grains each day for stroke prevention.

Garlic

Garlic is a great choice for reducing stroke risk.

A human study found that regular garlic consumption resulted in a 50% reduction in rates of stroke.

Tomatoes

High levels of lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, may be associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke.

According to an analysis published in Neurology, which followed more than 1,000 Finnish men aged 46 to 55, those with the highest lycopene levels were 55% less likely to have a stroke.

Coffee and green tea

The results of a 13-year study of more than 80,000 Japanese adults found that those who drank at least one cup of coffee a day had a 20% reduced risk of stroke.

And those who drank 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily had a 14% reduced risk of stroke.

Potassium-rich foods

Eating more potassium-rich foods is associated with a significantly lower stroke risk.

In one study, a 1,600 milligrams per day increase in potassium intake was associated with a 21% lower stroke risk — and this amount didn’t even bring many study participants to the minimum daily recommendations.

But less than 2% of Americans reach the daily potassium intake because most people don’t eat enough unprocessed plant foods.

Potassium is abundant in fruits and vegetables. Greens, beans, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of potassium.

Magnesium-rich foods

According to a meta-analysis of studies, higher magnesium intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke.

Beans, leafy greens, and whole grains are all loaded with magnesium.

Foods to Avoid If You Want to Avoid Stroke

The standard Western diet has been found to be associated with a 58% increase in stroke risk.

Studies indicate that it is particularly important to reduce your intake of the following foods:

•High cholesterol foods

•Salty foods

•Dairy

Uric acid is a compound produced by your body when it breaks down certain foods. Too little uric acid is associated with stroke.

People on dairy-free plant-strong diets are most likely to hit the sweet spot in terms of optimal uric acid levels for longevity. So this is one of the reasons limiting or cutting out dairy can help reduce your risk of stroke.

Meat

A meta-analysis on meat found a 10% increased risk of stroke associated with each three-and-a-half-ounce daily portion of red and processed meat.

The heme iron in meat has also been found to be associated with stroke risk, while no association was found between the non-heme iron in plants and stroke.

Another factor may be the toxic pollutants, like PCBs, that can build up in animal fats. People with the highest levels of these pollutants in their bloodstream increase their odds of stroke by as much as eight or nine times.

Diet soda

Research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference showed that people who drink just one diet soda a day may increase their risk of stroke by 48%.

Other Lifestyle Factors to Help Prevent Stroke From Happening to You

Exercise

Exercise is medicine, and regular exercise can help you prevent stroke. In fact, researchers at the London School, Harvard, and Stanford found that exercise worked just as well as drugs for stroke (and heart disease) treatment.

But how much exercise do you need? Most health and fitness organizations advocate walking an hour 5 days a week.

Weight Loss

If you’re overweight, even losing 10 pounds can have a substantial impact on your stroke risk.

Optimal Sleep

If you want to reduce your risk of stroke, getting the optimal amount of sleep regularly is important.

Researchers at the University of Alabama found a strong link between getting less than six hours of sleep and a greater incidence of stroke symptoms for people over 45.

Optimism

According to scientists at Harvard University, people with sunny dispositions are far less likely to suffer from strokes or heart attacks.

Studies found a 50% reduction in cardiovascular disease for those who scored highest for optimism and vitality.

Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D increase your risk of risk. According to one study, low levels of vitamin D doubles the risk of stroke in Caucasians.

You can increase your vitamin D levels with exposure to sun, supplementation, or by eating vitamin D-fortified foods.

Conclusion

Strokes typically occur without any warning at all, so prevention is critical.

If you want to avoid suffering from stroke, consuming a variety of whole, plant-based foods and eating fewer animal products and processed foods, along with exercise, getting enough sleep, releasing excess weight, and staying positive can go a long way in helping you achieve this goal

 

 

 

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