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Stroke: The food to consume to cut your risk – and the foods to avoid

Miriam tells Loose Women coming out could be linked to mother's stroke

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It may not always be possible to prevent strokes, though there are some risk factors that you may be able to change. You can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke by having a healthy diet, according to the NHS. The health body adds that an unhealthy diet can increase your chances of having a stroke because it may lead to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

There are around 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK, and your symptoms will depend on the part of your brain affected and the extent of the damage.

Nonetheless, there are a number of foods which are good for your overall health, and may help reduce your risk of a stroke.

Indeed, eating dairy may reduce the likelihood of suffering a stroke in later life.

A large study of more than 400,000 people says that consuming more milk, cheese and yogurt can cut the risk of the most common type of stroke.

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The study, published in the European Heart Journal, looked at people in nine European countries and investigated ischaemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

High blood pressure is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor (CVD).

A variety of clinical trials including Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) have demonstrated beneficial effects of dairy consumption.

One study found hypertensive men and women who consumed around two servings a week of yogurt, especially in the context of a healthy diet, were at lower risk for developing CVD.

Stroke is uncommon in individuals younger than 40. When it does occur, it is often triggered by abnormally high blood pressure.

The signs and symptoms of a stroke vary from person to person, but usually begin suddenly.

The main stroke symptoms include changes to the face. Your face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.

Signs may also occur on the arms – “the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm”, says the NHS.

Their speech may be slurred or garbled, “or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake” and “they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them”, adds the health body.

The Stroke Association says that while most people who have a stroke are older, younger people can have strokes too, including children.

Indeed, one in four strokes in the UK happens to people of working age.

As we age, our arteries become harder and narrower and more likely to become blocked. Certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can speed up this process and increase your risk of having a stroke, according to The Stroke Association.

Damage to the brain can affect how the body works. It can also change how you think and feel. The effects of a stroke depend on where it takes place in the brain, and how big the damaged area is.

The NHS says: “If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain injury, disability and possibly death.”

This is why the Stroke Association says eating well is “essential” for a healthy bloodstream, and a good balanced diet can help prevent strokes, meaning “many strokes can be prevented”.

It says that you should snack on fruit and vegetables, and “try not to fill up on junk food”.

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