According to the American Heart Association’s 2018 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, someone in the U.S. has a stroke about once every 40 seconds, and a stroke accounts for 1 of every 19 deaths in the U.S. And globally, strokes rank as the second leading cause of death (behind heart disease). Though a stroke can happen at any age, your risk does increase as you get older.
These are sobering statistics, but thankfully, there are a wealth of foods out there that can help you stave off a stroke as you age. Have you ever heard of the famous Hippocrates quote, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food?” It’s time we start following that advice and eating more foods that help fight against heart attacks and strokes as best we can. However, it’s important to identify that food alone cannot prevent stroke, but you can absolutely decrease your chances of having one by making positive changes to your diet.
”No one food can prevent stroke, but people with poor eating patterns are more prone to developing a multitude of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, [and] high cholesterol, which can increase the risk for having a stroke,” explains Erin Holley, registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a risk factor for strokes, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help with weight and blood pressure management.”
To help you get started, we chose to showcase four particular minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids that help to lower blood pressure and ward off inflammation—two key factors that help to lower your chances of having a stroke—plus the foods you should eat that are rich in them. Try integrating these foods into your daily diet to help prevent a stroke as you age.