Although stroke can be a frightening prospect, it doesn’t have to be. The same plan that you use to beat heart disease can help prevent stroke as well.
The central focus of the plan is to reach your goal weight, add exercise to your schedule (at least a one-hour walk a day; if you can’t do that now, work your way up to it), and if you smoke, make it your No. 1 goal to quit.
Here are additional steps you can take:
Daily aspirin therapy. Aspirin is a blood thinner. The same low-dose aspirin therapy (81 mg) you take for heart health also lowers stroke risk.
Fish Oil. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits, fish oil also prevents the blood clots that lead to stroke. I recommend 2,000 to 4,000 mg of supplement daily. However, if you are already on a clot-busting drug like Plavix or aspirin, fish oil may not be recommended. Watch for bruising, which is a sign that your blood may be too thin.
Coconut Oil. Health benefits of coconut oil include raising HDL cholesterol, helping normalize blood sugar levels, and aiding metabolism of minerals. Some studies show it could help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, indicating it may be brain-protective in the case of stroke.
B-Complex Vitamins. This term refers to a combination of nutrients that includes thiamine
(vitamin B1), cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), biotin, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. They are essential for the conversion of simple carbohydrates into glucose, for the conversion of amino acids into energy, and for the proper metabolism of fats and proteins.
More Posts by Chauncey Crandall, M.D.
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