Each year, more than 130,000 Americans die from stroke: that’s 1 in every 20 deaths! In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month, today’s post includes several pieces of advice to reduce your risk (or that of a loved one).
By making these healthy habit changes you can reduce your risk for a stroke:
- Eat more foods from plants, such as vegetables and beans, whole grains, and nuts.
- Eat more seafood in place of red meat, poultry, and eggs.
- Limit the intake of sodium, solid fats, added sugars, and refined grains.
- Reduce calories you eat and drink and increase calorie you burn through physical activity.
- Maintain a healthy weight.Excess weight puts a strain on the entire circulatory system. It can also make people more likely to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, all of which can increase stroke risk.
- Get Physical! People who exercise for thirty minutes five or more times per week have a reduced stroke risk.
- Quit Smoking. Smoking doubles the risk of stroke when compared to a nonsmoker.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke.
Recognizing the signs of a stroke are key. The quicker a stroke-sufferer is treated by a doctor, the lower the risk of developing a long-term disability. Knowing the acronym “FAST” may save a life. The National Stoke Association created an easy resource that includes a visual reference of the FAST acronym, feel free to download this PDF and print it out to keep it handy.