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Three Simple Habits to Reduce the Risk of a Stroke

80 percent of strokes are preventable, so lifestyle choices that reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels can go a long way in reducing your risk. With that in mind, here are three small things you can do to help reduce the risk of stroke.

Small box of walnuts

Snack on Walnuts: Eating a 1 oz serving of this fatty nut once a week was found to reduce the risk of stroke by 17 percent. Walnuts are a great source of heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-based type of omega-3, which helps prevent plaque buildup, blood clots, and vascular weakening.

Get Moving: Exercise is one of the most critical components of physical health. It’s associated with a reduced risk of nearly every type of disease. One study found that those who walk at a brisk pace (over 3.5 mph) each day have a 44 percent reduced likelihood of a stroke. So what are you waiting for? Get outside and move your body!

Eat Plenty of Potassium: Reducing sodium is often touted as a solution for preventing strokes, but getting plenty of potassium is important too. Potassium helps balance out the water-retention effects of sodium to reduce blood pressure. Strive to cut back on sodium to 2,300 mg/day (1,500 if you have hypertension) and aim to get 4,700 mg potassium. Good potassium options are bananas, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, and oranges.

There is, of course, one more big thing that increases stroke risk: stress. Stress drives up our blood pressure, causes inflammation, and deteriorates vascular function. However, reducing your stress levels isn't quite as easy as snacking on walnuts. But you need to find strategies for it if you lead a busy, stressful life. Have a look at Mayo Clinic: 5 Tips to Feel Less Stressed


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