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Foods to Help Lower Your Risk of Stroke

By Sara Butler

Heart disease is a condition that touches the lives of many Americans. According to the American Heart Association, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. That's a scary statistic, but it's one that you can actively work to avoid becoming a part of.

Your diet has a huge impact on your health and wellness. While there's no magic food that can prevent a stroke alone, there are ways you can improve the quality of the food you eat as well as what you're eating in order to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Here are a few things you can make sure are in your diet to help keep your cardiovascular system healthy and help you avoid stroke.

Potassium

Potassium is the magic mineral that helps you avoid muscle cramps, but it's good for a lot more than that. This mineral can also help you to regulate your blood pressure, a key in keeping your cardiovascular system healthy and avoiding a stroke since high blood pressure is one factor that can increase your risk.

There are several foods out there with a lot of potassium. Bananas are famous for it, but you can also find a good amount of potassium in:

  • Dried apricots
  • Avocados
  • Potatoes
  • Swiss chard

Magnesium

Magnesium and potassium go together to help your muscles function optimally. Magnesium also works to keep your bones strong and healthy, your nerves functioning optimally, and can help to prevent a stoke.

You can find a healthy dose of magnesium in:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Cashews
  • Dark chocolate

Lycopene

This phytonutrient is a strong antioxidant that has amazing anti-inflammatory benefits -- and chronic inflammation is one of the factors that can influence your chances of having a stroke. Spotting a food that's full of lycopene is easy because they're usually red or pink. You can easily find lycopene in:

  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Guava

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in check -- and both of these things can influence your chances of having a stroke. Eating foods one to two times per week that have a healthy dose of omega-3 fats can help reduce your chances of a stroke as well as help you avoid Alzheimer's disease and depression. You can find these fatty acids in abundance in:

  • Salmon
  • Oysters
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts

Take care of your cardiovascular system and it will take care of you!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downey, Calif.

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