If you have a history of stroke in your family, or if you're at all worried about one in your future, these top foods to prevent a stroke belong on your grocery list. Strokes are surprisingly common: According to the National Stroke Association, someone in the United States has one every 30 seconds. That's why a well-balanced, healthful diet for stroke prevention — one that places an emphasis on natural, whole fruits and vegetables and other unprocessed foods — is smart.
But what kinds of foods should you eat for stroke prevention? The very best standout foods are rich in vitamins and benefits while helping to keep arteries healthy and prevent blood clots. Here are six top foods to put at the top of your shopping list.
Foods to Prevent a Stroke
Snack on raisins to clear your arteries. Consuming 1/4 cup of raisins, cranberries or other dried fruit daily could cut your stroke risk 25 percent or more. Dried fruit’s rich supply of potassium helps prevent artery-damaging blood pressure spikes.
Serve pressure-lowering frozen veggies. Regularly adding a few handfuls into stew, soup and casserole recipes can reduce your stroke risk 25 percent. Frozen veggies are rich in antioxidants, plus they’re low in salt — a combo that can cut high blood pressure (a major stroke trigger) five points or more, researchers say.
Eat oranges to lower your risk 32 percent. Enjoying one cup of citrus daily lowers stroke risk 32 percent. Citrus’ bioflavonoids strengthen blood vessel walls, plus mop up damaging molecules before they can harm brain cells.
Slash your risk 43 percent with whole-grain bread. Research proves eating one slice of whole-grain bread daily cuts stroke risk 43 percent. Whole grains’ antioxidants, fiber and nutrients help prevent blood clots.
Enjoy antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. Eating 1 oz. of dark chocolate daily lowers stroke risk 39 percent, a German study shows. Chocolate contains antioxidants that keep brain arteries healthy and help prevent clots.
Sip Dandelion Tea. Drinking two cups daily flushes out up to five pounds of fluid — lowering blood pressure as effectively as many medications — without negative side effects, research shows. Find it on Amazon.com.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.