Reduce Risk of Stroke with Dark Chocolate and Other Daily Foods

dark chocolate to prevent strokeStroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot, bursts, or ruptures. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it and the brain cells die. Over 800,000 people die each year in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease and strokes.

The two main causes of strokes are ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes comprise about 80% to 85% of all strokes. With an ischemic stroke, a blood vessel in the brain becomes clogged with a clot. With a hemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel in the brain actually bursts or leaks. Hemorrhagic strokes tend to be more serious and that’s why it’s important to recognize stroke symptoms. A perfect diet can significantly help you keep away from a stroke. Here’re the helpful foods that you’ll need to include in your daily diet to avoid or at least reduce the risk of stroke.

1. Chocolate

This could be one of the sweetest ways to cut the stroke risk. The scientists — a joint team from the Institute of Environmental Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden, and the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland — set out to investigate the association between chocolate consumption and risk of stroke in men. And the results were amazing! Oddly enough, chocolate contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. Most of these benefits come from flavonoids, which act like antioxidants in your body. That means chocolate flavonoids could potentially protect you from free radicals, which can cause the damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate — the type of chocolate you should reach for at the grocery store — contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly eight times the number found in strawberries).

2. Foods rich in Citrus

A new study has found that healthy foods that contain vitamin C can help lower your risk of suffering from a common hemorrhagic stroke. There are many common risks that make you more susceptible to having a stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, having another illness like diabetes or heart disease, smoking, stress, and drinking alcohol or being overweight. This study, however, shows that something as simple as your dietary intake of vitamin C healthy foods can help you alleviate the risk of stroke. In fact, the researchers are suggesting that being vitamin C-deficient should be considered a major risk factor for stroke. Adding Orange, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Lemon in your daily diet can significantly help you avoid the risk of stroke.

3. Olive oil

Olive oil has garnered a lot of positive press over the past few years. It has been touted as a way to fend off Alzheimer’s and cancer. The healthy oil has also been implicated in the prevention of heart disease. Olive oil is a key ingredient in the “Mediterranean diet” and some clinical trials have suggested that the diet helps control risk factors for heart disease, like high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, and elevated levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. High olive oil intake is also linked to a lower risk of heart attack, and a longer lifespan among heart attack survivors.

So keep the above tips in your mind and plan a healthy diet that can keep you away from major heart diseases like stroke.