Symptoms of stroke are unintended and include a drop in the angle of the mouth or facial deformity, lesions in speech and the patient’s inability to lift both hands. There are also less known symptoms, such as dizziness, confusion and difficulty in swallowing.
In the stroke, brain cells die due to lack of oxygen. The stroke can be caused by a blockage in the bloodstream or the rupture of an artery that supplies the brain. Greater risk of stroke is experienced by people with hypertension and heart disease, as well as smokers.
According to the National Health Institute of the United Kingdom (NHS), the best way to avoid stroke is to eat healthily, to exercise regularly and to avoid smoking and over-consumption of alcohol. Experts recommend a diet low in fat and rich in fiber with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
It is also important to have a variety in diet, but avoid too much salt and processed foods. In particular, the daily amount of salt should not exceed six grams altogether, as excessive salt is a known risk factor for the development of hypertension, which is associated with stroke.
Ideal foods are pulses, peanut butter, fish, cereals and whole grain bread, brown rice and oatmeal. The NHS recommends eating 5-6 servings of fruit and vegetables a day as part of a healthy diet to reduce the risk of stroke. One serving corresponds to 80 grams of fresh, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables. You can also drink 150ml of fruit or vegetable juice, one serving.
To avoid stroke risk, the NHS recommends regular physical activity, smoking cessation and alcohol reduction. The combination of healthy eating and regular exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise can also help you lower your cholesterol and keep your blood pressure healthy.
Experts warn that over-consumption of alcohol can lead to hypertension and irregular heartbeat, two major risk factors for stroke. Do not consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week, that is seven glasses of beer or nine glasses of 125ml wine.