As the 28th of October marked World Stroke Awareness Week in South Africa, it is important to understand what foods can help support healthy living to combat strokes. According to the Stroke Association (2020), high blood pressure can put extra strain on the blood vessels in your body. Eating certain foods can have the ability to decrease blood pressure, minimizing the risk of a stroke.

1.) Whole grains to combat strokes

Like mentioned previously in the “a happy heart with the right nutrition article”. Whole grains refer to the group of grains that hold all the naturally occurring ingredients of the grain seed. Whole grains specifically reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Incorporating more whole grains into your diet will increase the healthy factor. These little grains are filled with nutrients like protein; fiber; vitamin B and antioxidants.

An example of whole grains to incorporate into your everyday eating plan:

  • Oatmeal
  • Wholewheat bread/ pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Barley

While incorporating whole grains into your diet to prevent or manage high blood pressure, whole grains have many benefits. They also sustain your energy for longer, as mentioned in nutrition supporting your exercise routine.

2.) Vegetables

The keyword here is the word “green”. Green vegetables happen to be rich in lots of vitamins and minerals that can help combat blood pressure. While having a rich source of protein, “leafy greens” are also a rich source of potassium. These attributes have said to manage high blood pressure quite well. There are some vegetables that are stronger than others when wanting to eat to reduce your blood pressure.

Vegetables that are great for reducing blood pressure:

  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Spinach

3.) Fruit to combat strokes

While ramping up the intake of your greens is on the cards to get your blood pressure on track, the fruit is also the next thing to consider. Potassium is key with regards to fruit and its impact on blood pressure. Potassium is said to help in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Healthline (2020) mentions two fruit groups that have attributes to decrease blood pressure. The two fruit groups that have been mentioned are citrus fruits and berries. Citrus fruits consist of fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Berries like strawberries; blueberries and raspberries are fruits that can be a new addition to your diet, increasing that potassium intake.