It is estimated that 40% of the 150,000 strokes suffered by people in the UK each year could be prevented.
The two main preventable causes of strokes are high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which both can be controlled by lifestyle changes.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause problems by damaging and narrowing the blood vessels in your brain. Over time, this raises the risk of a blood vessel becoming blocked or bursting.
High cholesterol or plaque build-up in the arteries can block normal blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. High cholesterol may also increase the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis, which are both risk factors for stroke.
If blood cannot carry energy and oxygen to part of the brain due to a blocked or burst blood vessel, some cells in the brain may be damaged. This is called a stroke and it can lead to disability and even death.
Help reduce your risk of stroke today with the following easy changes:
â€¢ Get a check-up
Although you may feel healthy, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your GP to get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. Both hypertension and high cholesterol can go unnoticed as there may be no physical signs. Being aware of the problem is the first step in taking control.
You can find your local GP practice on www.nhs.uk.
Aim for five-a-day
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day can reduce your risk of stroke by up to 30 per cent. Every extra portion may reduce the risk by another five per cent.
A fruit and vegetable box from Abel & Cole delivered straight to your door is a great way to kickstart your healthy eating plan.
Take stroke busting supplements
According to Dr Sarah Brewer (GP), supplements that contain dairy peptides are a great way to help reduce your blood pressure the natural way. These peptides naturally block the action of an enzyme, called ACE, to promote blood vessel relaxation. This is the same enzyme targeted by ACE inhibitor drugs prescribed to treat hypertension.
Help: blood pressure from Works with Water Nutraceuticals contains dairy peptides and is available from Boots, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett
Eat oily fish
It has been proven that eating oily fish once a week can help lower cholesterol.
Watch your body shape
You may be at risk if your waist measures more than 32in for women or 37in for men.
To reduce your fat levels, especially around the waist, it is recommend doing cardio vascular exercise, like running or cycling, three to five times a week.
A Personal Trainer can help you design a workout that suits you. Find a local trainer on www.nrpt.co.uk.