Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Stroke prevention can start as early as possible! Below are some ways that we can avoid stroke. Remember, prevention is better than cure!
How to prevent Stroke?
1. Lower your high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the highest contributing factor to the cause of stroke. Check your blood pressure at least once every two years and monitor it more regularly if you have a higher risk of getting a stroke. Your blood pressure should be lower than 140/90 mmHg, and if you have diabetes, it should be lower than 130/80 mmHg. Things you can do to lower your high blood pressure:
Reduce salt intake in your diet; up to only 1,500 mg daily
Don’t consume food that is high in saturated fats
Consume 4 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day
Eat one serving of fish two to three times a week
Choose whole-grains and low-fat dairy products instead
Do more exercise of at least 30 minutes a day
2. Lower your cholesterol levels.
Having high cholesterol levels in your body can cause your blood vessels to narrow and may result in the blockage of blood flow to vital organs, including the brain, leading to a stroke. Don’t eat too much deep-fried food, fast food, processed meats, coconut milk as well as seafood. Take medication to help lower your cholesterol levels.
3. Lose Weight.
Obesity & Overweight are some of the main factors causing a stroke. The excess fat in the body causes inflammation, resulting in poor blood flow and potential blockages. Control your calorie intake each day. Don’t eat more than 1,500-2,000 calories a day, depending on your activity level and current BMI. Exercise regularly!!! at least 3 to 5 times a week and around 30 to 60 minutes each time!
4. Quit Smoking.
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, makes your heart beat faster, and increases your blood pressure, causing a higher stroke risk. So, stop smoking!
5. Get your diabetes treated.
Diabetes causes sugar levels in the body to be high. Over time, uncontrolled diabetes can damage blood vessels, making clots more likely to be formed. Monitor your blood sugar level!
6. Get your Atrial fibrillation treated.
It is an irregular heartbeat condition that causes clots to form in the heart. When the clots travel to the brain, it will cause the risk of stroke.
7. Please don’t drink alcohol but if you insist, do it in moderation.
It would be better not to drink but if you must drink, keep it to one glass of alcohol a day! Red wine is still a better choice than other alcoholic drinks.
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Harvard Health Publishing (website)
Singapore National Stroke Association (website)