As the world observes World Stroke Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on this very common ailment and look at ways to avoid an attack.
Our objective as a company is to promote organic foods as an alternative to managing lifestyle diseases, one of which is a stroke. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in South Africa, 80% of heart disease and strokes can be prevented, and 10 people suffer a stroke in this country every hour.
“A healthy network of blood vessels is vital to the brain as it requires an uninterrupted supply of fresh blood filled with oxygen and nutrients. A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted”. – Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa.
Referred to as a “brain attack”, a stroke occurs without any warning at all, hence prevention is key. Although some people are predisposed to a stroke because of family history, this is not a life sentence as improving one’s lifestyle choices decreases the risks of suffering from one.
Consuming a varied and balanced diet of plant-based foods, minimal animal products and processed foods is highly recommended for prevention. Weight is also another highly touted risk factor, accompanied by physical activity and sleeping well.
Here are some more ways to manage your diet:
- Consult a nutritionist or a dietician, especially if you have weight problems or are predisposed to lifestyle diseases. A balanced diet is essential, as well as knowing which foods to avoid.
- Eat fruits and vegetables for natural sugar and other nutrients, whole grains, beans, fish and poultry for variety and minimise your meat consumption.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Be conscious of your special needs, for example, if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. Managing these lowers your risk.
- Avoid foods high in saturated fats, like fatty meats, butter and cream.
- Avoid fried foods and rather bake, roast or boil your foods. This doesn’t have to be bland – use culinary herbs for taste.
- Learn to read nutritional labels on foods. Knowing what to avoid is critical, like added sugar and salt, especially in processed foods.
Signs of a Stroke
With a stroke, it is important to know and listen to your body, as this can determine your recovery and the after-effects. A full recovery with no disability is possible if one gets fast medical attention. The Harvard Medical School lists the following as signs of a stroke, which we shouldn’t ignore:
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Numbness of the face
- Unusual and severe headache
- Vision loss
- Numbness and tingling
- Unsteady walk
A lifestyle change is critical in the prevention and managing of cardiovascular diseases and we encourage you to take the steps needed to live a healthier and longer life.