Your brain is your body’s command post. From there, every function of your body is controlled, be it breathing, thinking, heart-beating, and speech.
Just like any other organ, the brain needs sufficient amounts of oxygen and blood for proper functioning. Stroke is caused when the brain is starved of blood which causes a sudden stop in the normal activities of the brain. Also, whenever there is a drastic reduction in oxygen supply to the brain, there is always the strong possibility of a permanent Neurological damage.
Strokes comes in different magnitudes, some of them are so mild that the victim is unaware that he/she has actually just suffered a stroke. Some others get a mild feeling of numbness in their face or arms for short moment. This causes some difficulty in speech or reasoning. In severe case, strokes can cause instant death or paralysis.
Although all strokes are caused by a significant reduction in the amount of blood flow to the brain, the reason for this reduction often varies. The main causes for strokes are internal bleeding, atherosclerosis, blood clots, and aneurism.
Atherosclerosis causes up to half of all stroke cases. An example of atherosclerosis is the clogging of arteries due to fatty layers. To prevent this disease, one must observe proper nutrition and use the right supplements as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
In other cases, it is blood clots that block the artery that is supposed to transfer blood to the brain. This type of stroke can be prevented with the use of any of long list of supplements that prevent blood clotting. We will discuss this in more details later.
When the cerebral artery becomes weakened, this can result in a weakening of the cerebral artery and consequently cause internal bleeding. This is known as aneurism. In some cases, a genetic predisposition exist which causes aneurism by keeping the blood pressure at normal levels because the arteries are getting weakened. Non smokers in this case will have a decreased risk of stroke or aneurism.
Generally, we can easily prevent most cases of stroke by guiding against some medical preconditions that makes it easy for stroke to occur. You can do this by using any of the following supplements.
For a long time, it has been common to see doctors prescribe a little aspirin to patients in a bid to prevent things like blood clots that can cause stroke. It was later found that taking vitamin with the aspirin can make the aspirin a lot more effective in preventing blood clots. Blood clots create platelets which are cells that attach themselves to the walls of the artery leading to clots. The blood platelets usually attach themselves to artery walls using some sort of “rope” or anchor.
When the number of blood platelets increases sufficiently, a small part of it detaches to create clots. Whenever these clots find its way to the artery that gets blood to the brain, it inevitably leads to stroke. An interesting study suggested that when aspirin is combined with vitamin, it can makes it difficult for blood platelets to develop “ropes” or anchors by which they would attach themselves to the artery walls. When such attachment is made impossible, then there will no reason to worry about stroke at all. The study was published in 1995 by the “American Journal for Clinical Nutrition”. In the study, the researchers gathered hundreds who had suffer some minor stroke in the past and divided them into three groups. One group was giving 325mg of aspirin, another group was given 325mg of aspirin as well as 400 international units of vitamin E, while a third group was only given placebo, which is a false remedy. After 18 months, it was seen that aspirin and vitamin E taken together was more effective in reducing the amount of anchors in blood platelets than taking aspirin or placebo alone.
Notice: Consult your doctor before you begin to take vitamin E and aspirin combination. Also, you should not take this therapy if you suffer from high blood pressure or if you currently take any medication to dilute your blood. Also make sure you don’t overdose on the vitamin E because this can cause bleeding depending on the patient.
Carotenoids: A research that was conducted on the health of Boston’s nurses showed that women who take large amounts of carrots, spinach and other carotenoid rich ingredients have a reduced risk of stroke. This risk is found to be significantly lower in these women than in those who only take these ingredients in small quantities.
Men also enjoy improved health benefits with good nutrition. Framingham study followed a group of 45 to 65 year old men over a 3 year period and found that consuming fruit and vegetables also helps to reduce the risk of stroke.
Vitamin A: A study conducted in Belgium has shown that vitamin A can help reduce neurological disorders in people who have had a stroke in the past. Brussels doctors measured the amount of vitamins A and E in the blood of 80 people who previously had ischemia which originates from the middle cerebral artery.
The amount of neurological damages suffered as a result of stroke by those who take a lot of vitamins A is a lot less than in those who had a low concentration of vitamin A in their body. It appears that those with more vitamins A also recovered faster and more fully that others. In fact, most people in the first group recovered fully within 24 hours, only two of them still suffered severe invalidity because of the stroke.
Scientists have explained that vitamin A helps prevent brain damage by creating a viable anti-oxidant effect when the amount of oxygen decreases like it happens when stroke occurs.
Minerals and Stroke
1. Selenium: This mineral can have tremendous impact when taken together with vitamin E. If there is not much selenium is the water where you live or in the plants, then it is a bit more likely you will have a stroke than people who live in locations where there is enough selenium. The southern parts of the United States is called “the belt of stroke” because more people suffer stroke there than in other parts of the country. This is partly because the southern part in also the poorest in selenium all over the country. You can get selenium naturally from Brussels, Integral wheat, sprouts, onion, black grapes, garlic, marine crustaceans, and chicken. Selenium is also present in a lot of anti-oxidant formulas.
2. Calcium and Vitamin D: Scientists have also found a connection between stoke and the consumption of vitamin D and calcium. The nutrition of 35 women who had suffered stroke was observed, these women were chosen such that they had never had any cardiac disease or hypertension. The scientists then compared the nutrition of these women with the nutrition of another group of women who never had a stroke. It was found that the healthy women consumed 17% more calcium and 38% more vitamins D than the women who had stroke.
3. Potassium: A study has also shown that low levels of potassium in the body could cause hypertension. The study was conducted in Philadelphia at the temples university. Taking ingredients rich in potassium will help you properly regulate your blood pressure. These ingredients include bananas, potatoes, orange juice, beans, tomatoes, lime, and dry apricots.
Healing Plants That Are Beneficial To Your Body
1. Ginger: Ginger also helps reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood clotting that can lead to stroke. This was shown in a study published in the “New England Medical Journal”.
2. Alfalfa: It has been shown through research that alfalfa helps reduce the blood cholesterol level and prevent clogging of artery walls in animals. Further research is now being done to determine if it also has the same effect in human beings.
3. Estragon Oil: The presence of bio-flavonoids (rutin) makes this oil effective in strengthening the walls of the capillary. It has been shown that rutin helps animals by preventing the occurrence of plagues along the walls of the arteries which may lead to a decrease in oxygen levels in the brain, causing stroke.
4. Curcuma: Indians have used this plant for healing and as a spice for generations. In addition to its many health benefits, curcuma also helps reduce cholesterol level and blood clots which causes stroke.
5. Ginkgo Biloba: This is a plant that is very useful to the brain; it helps improve your memory and also offers protection for your brain against any permanent damage as a result of stroke. It has also been discovered that ginkgo can counteract platelets activating factor (PAF), which is produced by the body and connected to blood flow in the arteries. As one ages, the amount of blood flow to the brain reduces, this causes a decrease in the oxygen levels within the brain cells. Ginkgo has been proven to increase the flow of oxygen to these cells thus encouraging quick recovery in people who suffered stroke.