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There are two major reasons that heart disease and vascular issues scare the pants off most of us…
Number one, they are common.
And number two, they are the leaders of hospitalization, disability and death — consequences we’d all prefer to avoid!
Stroke is perhaps the scariest of all vascular conditions because it can creep up on you unexpectedly. And since a stroke leads to the destruction of brain tissue, in some cases, the consequences can be severe and disabling.
The cold hard truth is that one in six people are at risk of suffering a stroke at some point in their lives — so the odds are fairly high that it could be you.
These statistics have prompted researchers to explore if dietary factors could provide protection.
And it turns out there are two particular elements of a healthy diet that can not only help lower the risk for the development of stroke but reduce the severity of a stroke should one happen…
Your overall diet is important
Diet is one of the major factors that contribute to neurovascular disease.
A Western diet high in processed foods, added sugar, salt and hydrogenated fats, is one of the fastest routes to both heart disease and stroke.
While the Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern that has been shown time and time again to promote heart health.
The key divider between these two dietary patterns is the food sources the diets provide…
A stroke-protective diet is one made up of natural whole foods sources, particularly foods high in fiber and low in carbohydrate content.
Take the Mediterranean diet as an example. It’s made up of fruits, legumes, vegetables, whole grains, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, milk, nuts and olive oil.
These foods are low glycemic index foods that are rich in bioactive compounds such as fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and antioxidants.
If you compare this to a modern Western diet of highly processed foods, you simply won’t consume any of these beneficial compounds.
Feed your brain healthy fats to lower stroke risk
Once you’re eating a natural whole foods diet, you’ll be making great headway to consuming beneficial fats — and thank goodness because the brain is made up of around 60 percent fat!
Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat that’s found in olive oil, avocado and almonds. It’s been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, protect nerve cells in the brain and reduce the after-effects of stroke if one should occur.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and fish oils, along with chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts.
Omega-3s support optimal nervous system function and make up a large proportion of the membrane of nerve cells in the brain — or at least they should.
Where there is a lack of omega-3s, synaptic dysfunctions occur between brain cells and alterations in the nerve cells can occur.
But according to researchers, the amazing thing about consuming more omega-3s is you can restore optimal cell membrane function and prevent the development of stroke!
More than that, the combined effects of oleic acid, omega-3s and bioactive compounds called polyphenols, protect the nerve cells in the brain, so that if a stroke does hit, the severity will likely be reduced.
When it comes to stroke, the message is clear, researchers are absolutely certain that your diet makes all the difference.
All it takes on your behalf is a switch to healthful, natural whole food sources!
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!
Ayuso MI, et al. Neuroprotective diets for stroke. — Neurochemistry International. 2017;107:4e10.