Which behaviors increase the risk of stroke?


Stroke is caused by a blockage, obstruction, or rupture of the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in insufficient oxygen supply to the brain.

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Stroke is caused by a blockage, obstruction, or rupture of the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in insufficient oxygen supply to the brain. When the brain lacks blood supply, brain cells are damaged, leading to loss of brain function and the occurrence of disabilities, paralysis, or even death if not treated promptly. We know that individuals who are at risk of stroke are influenced by various factors, including:

  • Aging: Blood vessels throughout the body deteriorate with age, increasing the risk of stroke.
  • Ethnicity: Statistics show that the incidence of stroke is higher among individuals of African descent compared to those of Caucasian descent.
  • Family history: Individuals born into families with a history of stroke are at a higher risk than the general population.

However, there are many other equally important factors that can be avoided by simply changing behaviors and taking care of existing conditions:

  • High blood pressure: It is a significant risk factor for stroke. Patients with high blood pressure should take medication as prescribed by their doctors and make lifestyle changes as recommended to maintain blood pressure within the normal range.
  • Diabetes: Patients with diabetes or high blood sugar levels can cause hardened blood vessels throughout the body, increasing the risk of stroke. Therefore, controlling blood sugar levels within the normal range and following medical advice are essential to prevent stroke.
  • High cholesterol: Medical studies have found a correlation between high levels of cholesterol in the blood and the occurrence of blocked brain blood vessels, leading to stroke. Individuals with high cholesterol levels should adjust their dietary habits, engage in physical exercise, and take medication as prescribed.
  • Heart disease: Certain heart conditions, such as Atrial Fibrillation, valve problems, and coronary artery disease, can cause blood clots to form and block the brain blood vessels, resulting in a stroke.
    Taking care of these conditions and seeking appropriate medical treatment is crucial in preventing strokes.

Eating Habits to Prevent Stroke

  • Reduce consumption of high-fat foods as they increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood, leading to hardened and narrowed blood vessels, which can cause stroke.
  • Limit excessive intake of sugary foods as they provide high energy and contribute to weight gain. High blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes, which affects the hardened blood vessels, causing them to narrow and resulting in stroke.
  • Decrease consumption of salty foods, seasoning powders, canned foods, and processed foods as they are related to high blood pressure, which contributes to stroke.
  • Consume a balanced diet from all five food groups in appropriate proportions. Choose unpolished rice and whole grains, increase the amount of vegetables in each meal, and opt for high-fiber and non-sweet fruits to maintain proper levels of fats and sugars in the blood.
  • Choose fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids as they are the precursors of Eicosanoids, which help inhibit blood platelet adhesion. This prevents blood clotting and helps dilate blood vessels, improving blood circulation and preventing ischemic stroke.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Stroke

  • Exercise regularly: Lack of exercise or insufficient physical activity increases the risk of stroke compared to those who engage in regular exercise. It is recommended to engage in aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week, with each session lasting at least 30 minutes. For individuals who have not exercised for a long time, it is advisable to undergo a health check-up and consult a doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially for older adults.
  • Avoid smoking or being in a smoky environment: Smoking increases the risk of stroke more than non-smokers.Limit alcohol consumption: The risk of stroke is higher for those who consume alcohol excessively compared to non-drinkers.
  • Ensure sufficient rest and sleep: Inadequate rest and sleep increase the risk of various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, all of which contribute to the risk of stroke. Therefore, it is important to allocate enough time for relaxation and sleep.
  • Manage stress: Stress affects blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of stroke.


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Once we understand the factors and behaviors that can reduce the risk of stroke, it is important to consistently implement and practice them. In addition to reducing the risk of stroke, these habits also promote overall health and reduce the chances of other diseases.


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