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Stroke: The food ‘which could stop plaque from building up’ – prevent a stroke

Miriam tells Loose Women coming out could be linked to mother's stroke

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Similarly, there are also a number of foods to avoid or cut down on, such as those with high levels of sodium. The Stroke Association states: “Many behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol or being physically inactive can increase your risk of stroke, along with having high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, or being an unhealthy weight.” There are also foods which make up a healthy diet, and may reduce your overall risk of the life-threatening event.

The Healthy organisation notes the American Heart Association includes nuts on its list of superfoods.

“Nuts provide protein, fibre, and unsaturated fats. In just one serving, you’ll fuel your body with nine grams of monounsaturated fat to cut down LDL (bad) cholesterol while upping HDL (the good kind),” it says.

It adds: “Almonds are also a great source of vitamin E, which could stop plaque from building up in your arteries.”

The Stroke Foundation says potassium which can help control blood pressure. It says dairy foods are a source of potassium, along with calcium, which can also help control blood pressure.

“Alternatives to dairy include calcium-enriched soy or rice milks. Other sources of calcium include fish with bones, almonds and tofu,” it notes.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada says monounsaturated fats have been shown to improve blood cholesterol levels.

They’re found in some nuts such as almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans and hazelnuts.

The NHS says fibre is also important in a healthy diet. It says: “A small handful of nuts can have up to 3g of fibre. Make sure you choose unsalted nuts, such as plain almonds, without added sugars.”

Harvard Medical School says: “High blood pressure is a huge factor, doubling or even quadrupling your stroke risk if it is not controlled. High blood pressure is the biggest contributor to the risk of stroke in both men and women.”

To achieve this, it says you may need to reduce the salt in your diet, “ideally to no more than 1,500 milligrams a day (about a half teaspoon)”.

The NHS explains: “An unhealthy diet can increase your chances of having a stroke because it may lead to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.”

It adds: “Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and trigger an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation), both of which can increase your risk of having a stroke.”

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) says anxiety, depression, and high stress levels are all risk factors.

It adds: “Working long hours and not having much contact with friends, family, or others outside the home are also linked with higher risk of stroke.”

The main stroke symptoms include changes to the face. Your face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.

Signs may also occur on the arms – “the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm”, says the NHS.

Their speech may be slurred or garbled, “or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake” and “they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them”, adds the health body.

It notes: “Even if the symptoms disappear while you’re waiting for the ambulance to arrive, an assessment in a hospital should still be done.

“You should be referred to see a specialist within 24 hours of the start of your symptoms.”

Several factors that are beyond your control can increase your risk for stroke. These include your age, sex, and ethnicity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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