You may see the word "stroke" and never give it a second thought. Unfortunately due to the way we live these days, strokes are more and more common and no longer the exclusive disease of the old. Many younger people are suffering strokes. Key factors are family history, lifestyle, stress, diet and underlying conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol - many of which you may be unaware of.
Below you will find 10 ways to reduce your chances of having a stroke.
1. Reduce your salt intake. Look out for hidden salts in all foods.
2. Check your blood pressure and try and reduce it, through a healthy mostly vegetarian-based diet and aerobic exercise.
3. Try to have at least 50% of your daily diet made up of fruit and vegetables and vegetarian protein sources.
4. Check your cholesterol. High cholesterol puts you at higher risk of having a stroke. Take supplements to reduce cholesterol and cut out high cholesterol foods.
5. Do aerobic exercise. If you are sedentary, you are more likely to suffer a stroke.
6. Cut out cigarettes. They have a catastrophic impact on your arteries.
7. Consider stopping the Pill (ladies). It puts you at a higher risk of suffering a stroke.
8. Check your family’s history. See if your grandparents or their parents suffered from strokes. This also puts you at a higher risk.
9. Reduce alcohol intake. This is also a no-no if you are worried about stroke.
10. Lower your body-fat. The more fat you have, the more strain on your body and the harder your arteries have to work to pump blood around your body.
11. Don't ignore early signs of a stroke. Make sure you check out any headaches/migraines that don't seem to go away, numbness in your body, eye problems, speech problems.
12. If you are ever numb on one side of your body, don't ignore it.
You can read more about how to spot a stroke here: