Black or green tea:

Tea contains plant nutrients called flavonoids, which can help decrease cholesterol and blood pressure. Drinking at least 3 cups of black or green tea per day may help reduce your risk of stroke. Researchers in one study found that people who drank this amount of green or black tea had far fewer incidences of repeated stroke.

Black tea may be especially helpful for diabetes management. The compounds in black tea mimic the effects of insulin and prevent starch from turning into sugar.

Fruits and vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables aren’t just good for your physical health. Researchers in a 2016 study found that eating more fruit may increase happiness and well-being as quickly as the next day. Eating eight portions per day may increase life satisfaction and help lower stress levels.

Pomegranate:

Pomegranate concentrate is high in antioxidants and phytosterols, which are plant steroids that lower cholesterol. Taking pomegranate concentrate on low-dose statin therapy or the regular use of cholesterol-lowering drugs can help reduce cholesterol, according to the Israeli Institute of Technology. It may also lessen statin’s side effects, such as muscle pain.

Yoga is a good option for low-impact exercise.

According to the Harvard Health Blog, research findings suggest that yoga may improve stroke recovery, especially for people with balance issues or fear of falling. Yoga promotes smooth physical movements, improved breathing, and mental focus that may have been lost after a stroke.

Another popular exercise for stroke prevention and recovery is tai chi. Tai chi is a Chinese exercise consisting of slow and graceful movements practiced in a semi-squatting position.

Research from 2015 showed that tai chi helps improve body balance and reduces depression and anxiety. In 2017, many of those same researchers published a study suggesting that tai chi has a role as a protective measure against ischemic stroke in older adults.

Manage your weight:

Maintaining a healthy weight, and a healthy body fat ratio or body mass index (BMI), is a good way to manage many risk factors for stroke.

If most of a person’s body fat rests around the waist instead of the hips, then they have a greater risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Women with a waist size greater than 35 inches and men with a waist size greater than 40 inches also have a higher risk of these conditions, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The NHLBI states that weight loss can:

Visit your doctor to find out your ideal healthy weight.

High levels of stress are linked to a significantly increased risk of stroke, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Learn relaxation techniques to reduce tension in your mind and body.

Massages:

Massages can help increase blood flow to an affected area, especially for stroke-related muscle problems. In one study, massages decreased pain, increased health, and improved movement after stroke.

A few studies in China also found that external counterpulsation (ECP) treatments might encourage recovery in people who’ve had an ischemic stroke.

ECP treatments involve wrapping cuffs around the hips, thighs, and calves. These cuffs inflate and deflate, creating a massage-like sensation and helping blood flow to the brain.

Researchers at the S.H. Ho Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Centre in Hong Kong found that one-hour ECP treatments for 35 days increased blood pressure by 13 percent, heart function by 74 percent, and blood flow to the brain by 9 percent.

Other techniques:

Other ways you can relax include:

  • aromatherapy
  • fun hobbies, such as reading or playing board games
  • positive self-talk
  • meditation
  • getting enough rest

Acupuncture involves a practitioner inserting small needles into specific points of the body. It’s known to help ease pain and manage other muscle problems affected by stroke. A similar therapy is acupressure, which uses pressure instead of needles on the same points as acupuncture.

There isn’t enough scientific evidence on acupuncture’s effectiveness for stroke prevention. But some research has revealed overall improvements in people’s quality of life, including positive effects on mobility.

Acupuncture is considered safe when an experienced and licensed practitioner applies it.

Check your acupuncturist’s certifications if you’re interested in this therapy. A licensed acupuncturist will have a Master of Acupuncture, Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, or Doctor of Oriental Medicine certification. Look for the title licensed acupuncturist (LAc) too. Licensed acupuncturists have the training and skills to use acupuncture for health issues, such as:

  • certain chronic diseases
  • pain
  • rehabilitation
  • injured muscles

Boost prevention or recovery:

It’s suggested certain vitamins or supplements may help with risk factors such as high cholesterol and blood vessel damage. However, rigorous studies are still needed to support such claims.

Some supplements may cause negative side effects when used with certain medications. Check with your doctor before taking any extra nutritional or herbal supplements.

Vitamins and nutrients

Little scientific evidence exists that indicates supplements can prevent stroke directly. But some research suggests that they can help reduce risk and improve recovery. You may find benefits from taking the following:

  • Folic acid, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12. Certain B vitamins could help to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are linked with an increased risk of stroke.
  • Betaine. Research shows that the amino acid betaine may lower levels of homocysteine.
  • Vitamin C. This vitamin may aid in repairing blood vessel damage and reducing plaque buildup in the arteries.
  • Vitamin D. Supplements of this vitamin may be beneficial because low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of artery-blocking strokes, especially in people with high blood pressure.
  • Vitamin E. Taking supplements of vitamin E may help with memory impairment.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. In general, omega-3 fatty acids may improve cholesterol levels. One type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), may also prevent cell damage, according to a study performed on rats.
  • Magnesium. The mineral magnesium may lower blood pressure, according to a study in the journal Hypertension.

Herbal supplements:

Herbal supplements are a popular choice for people who prefer natural remedies. The following herbal supplements may improve blood circulation in the brain and help prevent another stroke:

  • AshwagandhaAlso known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has antioxidant properties that may prevent and treat stroke. A 2015 study explored its effect on mice.
  • Bilberry. This berry may improve cholesterol and lower blood sugar.
  • Garlic. Preventing blood clotting and destroying plaque are two potential benefits of garlic.
  • Asian ginseng. A staple of Chinese medicine, Asian ginseng is said to improve memory.
  • Gotu kola. This herb has been shown to boost cognitive function in people who’ve had strokes.
  • Turmeric. A spice, turmeric may lower cholesterol levels and help prevent blockages in arteries.
  • For online links to the herbal supplements please click on the products.

You’ll want to avoid these supplements if you’re taking warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, or any other blood-thinning medications. They’ll thin your blood even more. Always ask your doctor first before taking any additional supplements.

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