In the United States, a person dies from a stroke every four minutes. Stroke risk increases as we get older, but they can happen at any age. Strokes are among the leading causes of deaths in this country, especially for black Americans, who are twice as likely to have a stroke compared to whites. So, it’s extremely important that we know the keys to reducing our risk of stroke:
- Get regular exercise
- Go easy on the salt
- If you drink, limit your alcohol consumption
- If you smoke, quit
- If you have diabetes, control your glucose
- And perhaps most importantly: Maintain a healthy blood pressure
Food Tips for Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure
It’s no secret that getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight are good for your health. Easier said than done, but both are key factors in keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range. Fortunately, there are also choices you can make with your diet to help get your blood pressure moving in the down direction. Here are three important ones:
1) Eat More Potassium
Foods that are high in potassium can help you reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure. Blood pressure is dangerous because it puts a lot of stress and wear and tear on your blood vessels, especially over time, and potassium helps relax the walls of your blood vessels. It also helps the body get rid of sodium, which is a major contributor to high blood pressure (see below). Potassium can be found in a lot of foods, such as bananas, sweet or white potatoes, tomatoes, dried fruits (raisins, prunes, etc.), melon, leafy greens, beans, nuts, and soybeans. For a comprehensive list of potassium-rich foods, check out this list on WebMD.
2) Eat More Magnesium
Magnesium-rich foods have been linked to lower risk of stroke. Like potassium, it helps relax the walls of your blood vessels. A review of several studies on magnesium’s effect on blood pressure found that every extra 100mg of dietary magnesium you get per day translates to 5% reduction in high blood pressure risk. Good sources of magnesium include whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans. For a comprehensive list of foods high in magnesium, check out this list from the Cleveland Clinic.
3) Use Salt Substitutes
The body needs salt, but most Americans get way more salt (sodium chloride) than they need. We love it. Unfortunately, it takes our bodies a lot of fluid to manage all that sodium, and this additional fluid in our bloodstream increases our blood pressure and damages our arteries. There are salt substitutes that use potassium instead of sodium to get your salty fix. With this switch, you’re not only cutting out the damaging salt but getting helpful potassium. You have to be careful with salt substitutes if you’re on certain meds or if you have certain medical conditions, so ask your doctor first.
Suffered from Medical Malpractice After a Stroke? Contact Us Today
Strokes are serious medical events that require prompt and accurate treatment. If you suffered a stroke and your physician either did not administer the proper treatment or administered a treatment incorrectly, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can determine whether you have a case. You may be entitled to significant compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Call Brown & Barron, LLC at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation.
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