A stroke is like a heart attack but an attack on the brain. It could be due to a clogged artery (Ischaemic stroke) or due to a blood vessel rupture (Haemorrhagic stroke).
Almost 80 per cent of strokes are Ischaemic. The causes of the former could be fatty deposits and high cholesterol level leading to clots in blood vessels, while the latter could be due to high blood pressure or brain aneurysms (weakening or thinning of the blood vessel wall).
Also Read: 8 Surprising Facts About A Stroke
Should you be concerned about strokes? If someone in your family has suffered a stroke, or if you are overweight, smoke, drink excessively, suffer from diabetes, have coronary artery problems or suffer from high blood pressure, you need to be careful.
Men are more likely to suffer from a stroke while women suffer from deadlier strokes. Age is also a cause of concern, as those over 65 years of age are at a greater risk.
Also Read: Early Warning Signs Of Stroke
Symptoms of a stroke include loss or blurred vision in one or both eyes; loss of balance while walking; numbness or weakness in the face, limbs or one side of the body; sudden and severe headache and difficulty in speaking or understanding to what others are saying.
While strokes remain a cause of concern, there are certain foods and lifestyle changes that can help prevent strokes.
The goodness of apples is endless. When it comes to strokes, researches have revealed that consuming an apple a day will help protect against stroke risks. Pears, which belong to the apple family, are also a good choice.
Coffee has had conflicting reviews at all times. However, researches have shown that consuming coffee in moderation is a good way to prevent stroke risks. Moderation here means consuming three to four cups a day.
Tomatoes contain a special substance called lycopene in a rich concentration. Lycopene has been proved to reduce risks of strokes; and hence consuming tomatoes and tomato products should find a way to your diet.
Yet another reason supporting chocolate consumption is reduced stroke risks. Though milk chocolates are also beneficial, it is the dark variety that carries the maximum benefit.
Cherries have shown to deliver results that help reduce stroke risks. In studies conducted in labs, regular cherry consumption delivered positive results in cases of cardiovascular diseases and control of factors leading to strokes.
Apart from the many benefits of consuming water, stroke prevention is also one of them. Water shortage in the body can also lead to thickening of the blood and increase in the risks of a stroke. So, stay hydrated and safe by drinking water.
One more nail in the coffin for cigarettes and cigars!! Smoking can increase the chances of a person to suffer from a stroke.
Reduce Salt Intake:
High salt intake means increased consumption of sodium, which can lead to a high blood pressure level. High blood pressure is a factor that leads to a stroke.
Limited intake of salt and a complete no to table top additions will help reduce risks.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, every year close to 15 million people suffer from a stroke.
Close to 6 million of them die while 5 million are permanently disabled. The report also states that after dementia, strokes are the leading cause of disability.
With such alarming figures, strokes have become a cause of concern and a call of greater awareness.