Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) has gained importance over the years, ranking as the second cause of death in Argentina and the first cause of disability in the world, according to the Hospital Universitario Austral. For bachelors in nutrition Valentina Franchi, Delfina Pintos, Lorena Zilloni and Luz Ledesma.
Its high prevalence is mainly related to the current pace of life, hyperstress, the development of chronic diseases from an early age due to excess body weight, high consumption of salt and processed food, and the abuse of harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco.
From a nutritional point of view, many strategies can be applied both to prevent the development of this disorder and to aid in its recovery.
Foods involved in stroke recovery
There are certain foods and nutrients that stimulate the synthesis of the protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes neurogenesis, that is, the synthesis of new neurons in the brain. They are:
? Omega-3: Omega-3 fatty acid helps normalize BDNF levels and protects against reduced plasticity and poor learning after traumatic brain injury. This nutrient is found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines), nuts and seeds (flax, chia), chia oil, flax, flax seeds.
? Blueberries: provide flavonoids (antioxidants) that help stimulate brain function and neurogenesis.
? Avocado: The brain’s gray matter, which processes information, depends on oleic acid to function at optimal speed. Avocados are an excellent source of this nutrient. It can be put as a topping, in pasta (guacamole) for spreading on toast, in salads, etc.
? Beans: helps stabilize blood glucose levels, which stabilizes the brain’s supply of glucose. It can be included, for example, in the form of hummus, in salads, in fillings, such as hamburgers or meatballs.
? Nuts and seeds: They are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that is associated with less cognitive decline.
? Tomato: is an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant that has neuroprotective properties and reduces brain damage caused by stroke.
General recommendations for preventing the development of stroke
? Maintain blood pressure within normal values. For this, it is important to limit sodium intake: apart from table salt, there are many foods rich in sodium such as sausages, snacks, bakery and confectionery products, industrialized products (despite being “sweet”). E.g.: cookies, carbonated drinks, diet sweets), among other things, some mineral water. On the other hand, frequent consumption of the foods mentioned in the previous paragraph favors vasodilation, thereby reducing the risk of hypertension, helping to reduce body fat and control weight.
? Limit the consumption of saturated fats from foods of animal origin. For this, it is advisable to remove the visible fat and skin from the chicken before cooking, limit the consumption of offal and offal, as well as the consumption of red meat to 1-2 times a week.
? Increase the consumption of fiber that creates the effect of “cleaning” LDL cholesterol in the arteries, transporting it to the liver for filtering and elimination. This nutrient is present in various fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts.
? Increase your intake of healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines).
? Avoid cooking by frying, as the oil oxidizes when heated and becomes toxic to the body. It is recommended to use coconut oil or ghee as an anti-stick for cooking as they are more heat resistant than vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn and olive.
? Limit or avoid alcohol consumption.
? Avoid using tobacco
? Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day
? Apply relaxation techniques to combat hyperstress such as meditation, yoga, reiki, breathing techniques, among others.
Again, maintaining a healthy lifestyle from a nutritional, physical and mental point of view is the main strategy for avoiding the development of chronic pathologies that can not only drastically reduce people’s quality of life, but also their lifespan.
Editor’s note: Article published in Icarus Centro de Salud & Longevidad Educational Material, for Pios-Pec and Pios-Pec PER patients, corresponding to October 2022, assigned for publication in AIM.