Stroke is a killer disease and is the 3rd most common cause of death among Americans today. It occurs when your brain cells are deprived of blood supply. Clogged arteries and ruptured blood vessels in the brain are just some things that cause stroke.
But the good thing is that you can cut your risk of stroke. If you want to avoid suffering from stroke, living and eating healthy are two of the best ways to do that.
As far as practicing healthy eating goes, eating fruits and vegetables comes at the top of the list. A study by Harvard's Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study showed that the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the lower your risk of having a stroke.
The list below shows you five of the best vegetables that can help lessen the risk of stroke. Add them to your daily diet and see its effects on your overall health.
- Tomatoes – they contain lycopene which among other things, reduces blood clots. Blood clots may cause stroke which is why tomatoes can be very beneficial in preventing this condition. Aside from that, tomatoes are known to reduce the risk of cancer. Thus, you're getting a one-two punch for your health if you include tomatoes in your diet.
- Broccoli – this vegetable is a rich source of vitamin C which can significantly cut your risk of having a stroke. Scientists attribute this to the antioxidant qualities of vitamin C. Antioxidants are molecules that slow down your cells' aging process. And if you have diabetes, broccoli can also help reverse its negative effects on your body. So, try to eat as much as you can of this vegetable.
- Spinach – this green leafy vegetable is high in folate. In fact, spinach is one of its best sources. What can folate do to help prevent stroke? Folate reduces your risk of having atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries which may lead to stroke. Thus, a healthy amount of folate in your body can prevent you from having this condition.
- Carrots – they are rich in beta carotene which gives these vegetables their distinctive orange color. But more than just a pigment, beta carotene can cut your risk of having stroke significantly. This is what a study by Harvard medical school's Joan Manson found when she looked into the diet of 87,245 female nurses. Those who ate a minimum of five servings of this vegetable in a week were 68% less likely to have a stroke than those who had fewer servings.
- Potatoes – a potassium-rich diet is important in preventing stroke. Potatoes are one of the most potassium-rich foods. In fact, potatoes contain more potassium than bananas which are traditionally considered as the best source of this mineral.
The list shows only some of the best foods that can help cut your risks of having stroke. But you can reduce your risks further by having a healthy lifestyle. Exercising daily and not smoking are just some of the ways by which you can do this.