Strokes do not run in my family, but I do have a relative that has suffered one in recent years. She is on the cusps of turning 90 and was quite healthy until she had a stroke and did not ask for help until the next day. Now she has limited mobility in her right arm and has to walk with a cane. This is quite a shock considering my grandmother used to run around the house, and now she has to take her time and concentrate on her walking in a nursing home. Luckily she did not suffer brain ischemia.
According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), Zinc Directed therapies are the best. It turns out that zinc was lost and when you add zinc to your diet, this will help with mental changes, anorexia and your taste and smell. This will also help with brain function as well. It appears that calcium offsets the zinc, and that is why it is important to add more zinc into your diet, in order to balance the calcium that originally rejected it.
Healthy Eating Plans
If you had a stroke, then it is because your arteries are clogged or are weakened by old age (like my grandmother). Your best bet post stroke is to create healthy eating plans. This will keep you on track for a healthy life style. Here are some foods you should be eating more of:
- Fruits and vegetables. Ever hear of Strive for 5? Well you should be striving for 5 to 7 a day post stroke.
- Grains. I am not talking white starchy breads. I am talking grains and cereals that contain lots of fibre and vitamins. Think whole wheat and whole grains. You should aim for 2 to 4 tiny servings a day.
- Lean protein. You should be thinking foods like fish, chicken, turkey or other lean meats. You can have 2 servings a day.
- Stay away from salt as much as possible. This will reduce your water retention and will lower your blood pressure, which is probably how you had the stroke in the first place. Look at labels and buy what is lower in sodium.
Your Meal Plan:
- Always, always, always eat breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day. This is where you can get some whole grains in right away. Plus, people who eat breakfast are less likely to snack the rest of the day since you will not be hungry.
- Spice up your food with herbs. It seems as though salt is a big garnish in America, and not many other places. Other countries rely on herbs to give their food flavour. Think fresh basil and fresh coriander. These are both very fresh and very potent ingredients that will bring plenty of flavour to your dishes without all of the added sodium. Another one of my favourites is thyme. Sprinkle some of that with lemon on top of your salmon and your taste buds will be dancing with joy.
- Lower your cholesterol by eating more whole grains. How about a quinoa salad with some beans and nuts instead of a sandwich. You can also have a side of smoked mackerel or some delicious salmon with thyme. Get creative with your meals.
- Toss the white starchy pasta, and go for brown rice and whole wheat pasta. I promise you will not taste any difference. I actually prefer the whole wheat pasta and brown rice to the white rice and starchy white pasta. It makes your meals taste lighter and you know they are healthier since they fill you up faster. Plus the grains lower your cholesterol and lower your chance of a second stroke.
- This is hard, but exchange the cookie for a piece of fruit. If you need something that tastes bad for you, but isn’t, then go for dehydrated fruit. It is best to do it yourself, but you can always purchase some at a health food store that does not have the added sugars and preservatives.
- My final piece of advice for your diet is to use smaller plates and bowls. This will give you the illusion that you are eating more, but in reality you are eating less. It will help to control your portion sizes and the amount of foods that you can eat. This will make sure that you have small portions of whole grains and only an actual serving of lean meat. Do this for yourself and do it for your family. You will be glad when your doctor tells you how much healthier you are looking and sounding.