STROKE PREVENTIVE FOODS AND LIFESTYLE

By Dina Eliash Robinson

Less of a medical mystery, since the wider use of MRIs and other diagnostic tools, strokes still pose a danger to people of all ages. Risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, belly fat, unhealthy levels of cholesterol, diabetes and, in some cases, old age.

Among the lifestyle changes advised to lower the risk of strokes are workout systems expanding on those developed by hospitals’ physical therapy services—such as the MIND eating plan recommended by the Flint Rehab website https://www.flintrehab.com, dedicated to helping stroke victims recover and prevent future incidents. Other helpful practices that are fast becoming indispensable to everyone from business executives to students, seniors and artists, include water (pool) exercises, flexibility, balance and armchair classes and stress management training ranging from meditation, biofeedback and yoga, which combines workouts with relaxation. All that’s needed for these do be effective is a sprinkle of fairy dust that compels everyone to stick to healthy habits and ditch self-destructive ones…

As important it is to commit to regular exercise and stress-reduction routines, tackling the challenge of changing eating habits ups the ante to ‘essential’—especially by giving your taste buds the month or so it needs to physically change and adapt to new foods and flavors.  

The Stroke-Prevention Eating Plan

(Note: We avoid using the word ‘diet’ because of its connotation as a temporary effort; and use ‘Eating Plan’ instead to signify a long term commitment.)

As countless brain research institutions around the world have discovered (see our report on their findings at http://www.freerangeclub.com/brain-boosting-foods/brain-foods-healthy-mind-memory-clear-thinking/), the foundation on which a brain-supporting and stroke-prevention eating plan is built consists of prebiotic and probiotic foods that help grow the essential bacteria needed to maintain good digestion and a healthy gut. (Scientists often call the latter “our second brain.”)

NOTE: Because of conventional agriculture’s unfortunate practice of soaking plant foods with toxic chemicals and poisoning livestock with antibiotics and hormones, we strongly recommend choosing to buy and eating organic foods whenever at all possible.

Among the prebiotic foods recommended by many scientists and experts are bananas, onion, garlic and legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils), while they list the most effective probiotics as ranging from goat kefir and (low-fat, no-sugar) yogurt (i.e. we highly recommend avoiding cow dairy), sauerkraut, tempeh, (Korean) kim-chi and other fermented or pickled foods.

Among the high fiber foods known to help keep cholesterol at healthy levels are whole grain cereals (oatmeal is excellent) and breads (except for people with grain or gluten allergies), legumes), vegetables (Brussels sprouts count as a ‘super food’), some fruits, nuts and seeds (flax, sesame, sunflower, etc.).

Since about 60% of the brain is made of fat, it needs essential fatty acids to function well. Some good sources of these are flax and chia seeds, walnuts, salmon and other fatty fish.

While red grapes are off-limits to diabetics and best eaten in limited portions by others due to their high sugar content, recent research have found them quite effective in lowering the risk of strokes due to the fruit’s high levels of resveratrol.

High coco-content dark chocolate is another two-edged food. While it is rich in epicatechin, one of its antioxidants that researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered it helps protect brain cells from damage; it also contains caffeine and should be avoided by people with cardiovascular problems who have experienced atrial fibrillation.

Foods high in vitamin D, which protects the body’s neurological (as well as neuromuscular and bone-protective) system, are also helpful to lowering the risk of strokes. With its high Omega 3 content, salmon is an excellent stroke-preventive food.

Quantities Matter

Green leafy vegetables are practically in the ‘no-limit’ zone—in fact, you’ll find in the Brain-Boosting Foods report mentioned above that a current large-scale research found an astonishing brain-rejuvenating effect in people who eat one or more portions of dark green leafy veggies daily.

To both prevent and protect from strokes, it is recommended to eat at least one non-starchy vegetables a day; berries about two-three times a week; a handful of nuts almost daily—except when allergic to tree-nuts or trying to lose weight—small or mid-size fatty fish (sardines, herring, salmon, etc.) a couple of times a week; legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas—i.e. humus) a few times a week; cooked or baked organic chicken or turkey  (white meat preferred) once or twice a week; whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, etc.) as mentioned above, in moderation, a couple of times a week; and half a cup or more of olive oil in salads and cooking daily.

Do not self-medicate—ever! not even with vitamins or supplements, but consult instead a reputable and trusted holistic health practitioner about any vitamins or other food-based (not synthetic) supplements your body might need in addition to the foods in your eating plan.

Be safe, healthy, thrive and prosper…


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