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Top 25 Foods that Prevent Stroke and Heart Attack


According to some studies say that food can increase stroke and can also prevent it. Foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish can prevent the risk of strokes and other diseases such as heart attacks. Generally, foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber, folate, magnesium, antioxidants, potassium, and low saturated fats can prevent stroke and heart disease. This is consistent with a study that revealed a reduction in stroke risk by 7% with an increase in daily consumption of 7 grams of daily fiber intake.

Stroke is usually suffered by those who are old and caused by clogged arteries in the brain or referred to as an ischemic stroke, and because of bleeding in the brain or referred to as a hemorrhagic stroke. There are many ways to avoid strokes, but lifestyle has an important role and has a big impact. There are many symptoms of stroke that you can identify, generally, there is a weakness on one side of the body. Some other symptoms of stroke such as facial numbness, loss of vision, unstable walking, numbness and tingling, and unusual headaches.

Lifestyle such as improving diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking are proven to prevent strokes. You can apply the right diet to avoid strokes. Foods that are healthy for the heart are generally also good for preventing strokes such as fruits and vegetables.

Food And Stroke

Potassium in fruits and vegetables is needed by the body to maintain heart function, maintain healthy blood pressure, and also prevent strokes. You can get potassium in bananas, apricots, oranges, cantaloupe, apples, tomatoes, prunes, melons, soybeans, spinach, and potatoes. Research also reveals that consuming nine servings of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of stroke by 38% compared to people who consume only four servings every day.

Rich foods like fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which also help prevent strokes, antioxidants can prevent plaque buildup in the arteries, help enlarge blood vessels, and reduce inflammation. In addition to antioxidants, vegetables and fruits are also rich in fiber which helps in the prevention of strokes as they appear in the journal Stroke. The fiber in vegetables, fruits, and seeds can also help maintain a healthy weight, help control blood sugar, maintain the heart, and can reduce cholesterol.

The American Heart Association study revealed that the risk of stroke will decrease by 7% when you add 7 grams of fiber every day. It is recommended to consume at least 38 grams of fiber for men under 50 years of age, and 25 grams of fiber for women per day.

In addition to foods rich in potassium, foods that contain magnesium also play a role in helping prevent strokes. A study revealed that the risk of stroke dropped by 30% with a diet rich in magnesium. Some magnesium-rich foods like peanuts, green vegetables, and whole grains can be chosen.

Some food and monounsaturated fat choices that you can eat to avoid strokes like those below.

1. Salmon and Other Fatty Fish

Limit consumption of red meat and other processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and sausages because they have more saturated fat which can clog arteries. Eat more fish such as salmon and other fatty fish. Salmon and fatty fish such as mackerel, trout, herring, and albacore tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fats, making them the right choice for a diet to prevent strokes.

Omega-3 fatty acids can increase blood flow by reducing inflammation in the arteries, keeping your cholesterol low, reducing the possibility of blood clots, clotting blood in the arteries, and maintaining blood pressure to make the heart-healthy, and also reducing the risk of stroke.

Studies at Harvard Medical School show that eating fish one to four times a week can reduce stroke risk by 27 percent. Studies in Sweden also state that consumption of fish 3 or more times a week can reduce the risk of stroke by 12 percent.

Tip: You can consume up to 12 ounces of salmon or the equivalent of 2 servings and other fatty fish every week. Salmon from wild catches is better than salmon from farms because it is more natural. You can cook it by filling it, and grilling it, add some vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus.

2. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is recommended by nutritionists as one of the foods that can prevent strokes. These foods have low saturated fat which can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by up to 28 percent. Oatmeal is also rich in fiber which can reduce the risk of heart disease and keep arteries clean. High cholesterol can cause plaque buildup in blood vessels around the brain which can cause an ischemic stroke. A study also revealed that people who consume whole-grain foods such as oatmeal have decreased cholesterol in their blood lipids. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, you can consume ¾ cup of oatmeal to get about 15 percent soluble fiber which is the recommended daily requirement.

3. Almonds and Other Nuts

Almonds and other nuts such as Lima beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, or lentils, have fiber, a source of vitamin E, thiamine, magnesium, iron, and monounsaturated fats that can prevent strokes and heart attacks by preventing plaque buildup in arteries. Monounsaturated fats in almonds can reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

Almonds and other nuts are also rich in folate which is good for brain health and reduces the risk of stroke. A study revealed a diet rich in folate can reduce the risk of stroke by 10%. Consuming a serving of almonds gives the body energy and 9 grams of monounsaturated fat. You can also add 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans added to the salad at your lunch.

4. Low Fat Milk

Consuming low-fat milk such as cheese and yogurt according to a Honolulu Heart study can reduce the risk of stroke. In addition to reducing the risk of stroke, low-fat milk can also reduce blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Low-fat milk is also rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Another study in Sweden also showed that consuming low-fat dairy products had a 12% lower risk of suffering a stroke. It is recommended to consume at least 2 glasses of low-fat milk or 8 ounces a day to get the maximum benefit of preventing a stroke.

5. Blueberries

Blueberries have many health benefits because they have various nutrients such as high antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These various nutrients can improve brain function, improve vision, improve heart health, slow down the aging process, and prevent cancer. Antioxidants in blueberries are also used to prevent strokes. Antioxidants help blood vessels dilate to keep blood flow smooth and reduce inflammation. It is recommended to consume a cup of blueberries every day and add the consumption of other vegetables.

6. Cranberry

Consuming ¼ cup of cranberry every day can reduce the risk of stroke by 25%. Cranberries contain potassium which helps prevent an increase in blood pressure which can cause arterial damage. Besides potassium, cranberries also have polyphenols that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This makes cranberries can also prevent cancer, improve oral health, reduce urinary tract infections, and improve heart health. It is recommended not to consume too much cranberry by making it into cranberry juice because it usually has high sugar content.

7. Broccoli

Eating large amounts of fruit and vegetables according to some studies can reduce the risk of stroke by 11% for an additional 200 grams of vegetables and fruits that are eaten as published in the journal Stroke. One of the recommended vegetables is broccoli which has sulforaphane compounds. These compounds can prevent heart disease and keep arteries clean. You can consume broccoli to prevent stroke by steaming it or eating it raw.

8. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes have antioxidants and are rich in soluble fiber which can be a vegetable dish for your dinner, and of course, it can also prevent you from getting a stroke. Fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries which is one of the causes of stroke. You only need to consume half a cup of sweet potatoes without skin to get up to 1.8 grams of soluble fiber. It is recommended to consume it by steaming it so that the nutrients are not easily lost.

9. Cabbage

Besides broccoli, you can also eat cabbage to prevent strokes and keep your heart healthy. Cabbage has magnesium which can prevent the entry of excessive calcium which can damage arteries and blood vessels. Magnesium can also open up blood vessels and protect the deepest layers of blood vessel walls.

10. Tomato

Eating tomatoes and tomato juice can prevent you from strokes. Tomatoes having high lycopene are associated with a reduced risk of stroke. This is in accordance with a study published in Neurology, which states that men who have high levels of lycopene have a lower risk of 55% for having a stroke.

11. Banana

Eating bananas every day not only can increase testosterone but also can prevent you from having a stroke and hypertension. Bananas are rich in potassium which can lower blood pressure and prevent strokes. This is also in accordance with studies BMJ state that consuming more potassium can reduce the risk of stroke by 24%. Bananas also contain resistant starch which can increase insulin sensitivity to improve blood sugar control.

Bananas also have potassium which in the study was associated with a lower risk of stroke. The study revealed that only by increasing the intake of potassium by 1,600 mg per day can reduce the risk of stroke by 21%. It is recommended to consume at least 2 bananas every day and choose the green one.

12. Spinach

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a diet rich in folic acid such as consuming spinach can reduce the risk of stroke and high blood pressure. Apart from containing vitamin B folate, spinach also has lots of fiber and magnesium which also play a role in preventing strokes. You can add half a cup of cooked spinach to the breakfast menu to meet daily folate needs of 200 micrograms/day.

13. Lentils

Not only spinach, but lentils are also rich in folate and magnesium to prevent strokes. Lentils also contain soluble fiber not only can prevent stroke but also good for cardiovascular health. A study also revealed that consuming one ounce of nuts per day can reduce the risk of stroke. Lentils are a type of legume which in international studies can reduce the risk of death from heart disease.

14. Prune

Prune has high fiber and iron which not only can protect against colon cancer but also can prevent strokes. High fiber in prune can absorb LDL cholesterol which is one of the causes of blood clots which results in a stroke.

15. Orange

Oranges have high potassium which can prevent strokes. A study also revealed foods rich in potassium can reduce the risk of stroke. This study revealed that an increase in potassium by 1,600 mg per day can reduce stroke risk by 21%. Oranges can also prevent cholesterol oxidation which results in cholesterol sticking to the artery walls to form plaques. Plaques in the arteries will block the flow of blood in small blood vessels which can cause heart attacks or strokes.

Oranges also contain bioflavonoids which can strengthen blood vessel walls and reduce the risk of stroke. Research in the journal Stroke in women who consume flavonoids from citrus fruits has a lower risk of stroke by 19%.

16. Avocado

Avocados are believed to be one of the best fruits that can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and are a source of healthy fats. This makes avocados can prevent strokes and reduce the risk of a heart attack. A study also revealed that a diet with avocados can reduce bad cholesterol levels better than a low-fat diet without avocados.

17. Chia Seeds

Regularly adding chia seeds to dishes such as soup or porridge can reduce the risk of stroke. Chia seeds have high nutrition and are low in fat and rich in soluble fiber, minerals, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. This makes chia seeds reduce the risk of stroke and reduce high blood pressure.

18. Walnuts

Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fat, and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) that is good for the heart and can prevent strokes. Walnuts have high fat, most of which are good fats which have the effect of lowering cholesterol. You can add a handful of walnuts to salads, cakes, and pancakes to get the benefits.

19. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds have various nutrients that make them known as a super seed. These nutrients include fiber, manganese, magnesium, protein, zinc, and phosphorus which are good for the health of the eyes and skin, and for boosting immunity. Pumpkin seeds can also prevent strokes because they have high magnesium. Research also reveals that foods rich in magnesium can help reduce stroke risk by 22%. You only need to add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds to porridge to get about 18% of your daily magnesium needs.

20. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is also used to prevent strokes when consuming it is not excessive. It is recommended to consume dark chocolate a maximum of three servings per week to reduce the risk of stroke as in a Nutrition study. Research in Germany also shows that consuming dark chocolate every day can reduce the risk of stroke by 39%. Choose dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, milk chocolate has high sugar and fat. While dark chocolate contains flavonoids which are antioxidants that can prevent strokes and heart attacks by keeping the brain arteries healthy.

21. Garlic

Consuming one to two cloves of garlic is one good way to prevent stroke. A study also revealed that consuming garlic regularly can reduce the risk of stroke by 50%. Research also reveals the benefits of garlic for the heart because it can affect blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and platelet aggregation. Platelet aggregation causes excessive blood clotting which causes blood clots and causes a stroke. You can consume garlic by cooking it with olive oil and adding other dishes such as meat or pasta.

22. Olive Oil

Olive oil can make dishes become more delicious and healthier for your heart. Olive oil is rich in good fats such as monounsaturated oleic acid which has been proven in several studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certainly also can prevent strokes.

23. Canola Oil

Besides olive oil, monounsaturated fats like canola oil are also highly recommended to prevent strokes. Canola oil can replace saturated fat to reduce your total blood cholesterol levels so it is very good for a healthy heart diet and preventing strokes.

24. Coffee and Green Tea

Coffee and green tea according to the journal Stroke have benefits to reduce the risk of stroke. Research in Japan revealed that coffee can reduce the risk of stroke by 20% in people who drink one cup of coffee every day. Whereas consuming two to three cups of green tea every day according to research can also reduce stroke risk by up to 14%.

25. Sardines

Not only salmon and other fatty fish, but consuming sardines can also reduce the risk of stroke. This is related to the benefits of sardines in providing HDL which is beneficial for heart health and preventing strokes. Sardines have Niacin which can increase HDL, this fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which make it known as brain food.

What the next

After you know the various food choices that can reduce the risk of stroke and prevent a heart attack, the next step is to make a daily menu. You can also try the Mediterranean diet recommended to help prevent strokes. You have to make a daily menu with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, and seeds. After that, choose a protein source with healthy fats, and limit salty or high sodium foods, and other foods that are high in fat.

You also have to avoid or reduce various foods such as milk which is high in fat, meat, and soda. Avoid fried foods, avoid processed grains, and avoid hydrogenated oils (trans fats). Research also shows that diet soda can increase stroke risk by 48% as presented at the International Stroke Conference. This was also revealed by scientists from Osaka University that soft drinks can double the risk of stroke if taken daily.

In addition to choosing foods, limiting the size of the meal is also important. When you don’t control the size of a meal, it causes your body to eat more calories than it should. You can use a small plate or bowl to help control food portions.

You also have to do a healthy lifestyle such as exercising regularly, keeping your body weight ideal, sleeping quality, optimism, quitting smoking, stopping drinking alcohol, maintaining blood sugar levels, and getting enough vitamin D. Exercising can reduce weight and blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke by four times.

Research at the University of Alabama revealed that sleeping less than 6 hours is more at risk for stroke. While research at Harvard University revealed that people who are always optimistic have a small risk of suffering from strokes and heart attacks. Smoking can accelerate blood clots, increasing the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of stroke.

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