Eating the Mediterranean or DASH-style diets, regularly engaging in physical activity and keeping your blood pressure under control can lower your risk of a first-time stroke, according to an updated AHA/ASA guideline published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
The updated guidelines recommend these tips to lower the risk of stroke:
- Eat a Mediterranean or DASH-style diet, supplement with nuts.
- Monitor high blood pressure at home with a cuff device
- Keep pre-hypertension from becoming high blood pressure by making lifestyle changes such as getting more physical activity, eating a healthy diet and managing your weight
- Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet; sodium is found mostly in salt
- Visit your health care provider annually for blood pressure evaluation
- If your medication to lower blood pressure doesn’t work or has bad side effects, talk to your health care provider about finding a combination of drugs that work for you
- don’t smoke. Smoking and taking oral birth control pills can significantly increase your stroke risk. If you are a woman who experiences migraines with aura, smoking raises your risk of stroke even more than in the general population.