Clinical Nutrition for Stroke Care and PreventionThe National Stroke Association defines a stroke as a “brain attack”. Over 795,000 occur each year (that’s one stroke every 40 seconds) and in the United States stroke is the fourth leading cause of death as well as a major contributor to adult disability.

A stroke happens when the flow of oxygen rich blood to the brain is blocked. This is usually caused by a poor diet that creates arterial plaque buildup or a plaque formed blood clot. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, if brain cells are deprived of oxygen they die or become damaged and the following symptoms may occur:

• Sudden weakness
• Paralysis or numbness of the face, arms, or legs
• Trouble speaking or understanding speech
• Trouble seeing

Cut Stroke with Clinical Nutrition
Working with an individually designed clinical nutrition program prepared by a naturopathic doctor, adjusting your diet can make a big difference when it comes to preventing a future stroke. Even if you come from a background of stroke history; have been currently diagnosed as “high risk”; are recuperating from a stroke; or just want to do anything possible to avoid this debilitating event, eating plentiful amounts of fruits and vegetables could be highly beneficial. This just may be one of the easiest ways to repair damage or cut your chances of having a stroke almost in half.

According to a meta-analysis of over 20 different studies performed throughout the United States, Asia and Europe within a span of 19 years, 760,000 who suffered 16,900 strokes were assessed for how high intakes of fruits and vegetables applied. Chinese researchers from Qingdao University, Qingdao Medical Center and hospital affiliates found that, “…the risk of stroke decreased 32 percent for every 200 grams of fruit consumed and 11 percent for every 200 grams of vegetables consumed daily.” (The Alternative Daily -[AD] 5/20/14).

The Pure Color Cure
Interestingly it wasn’t just fruits and vegetables but actually the chosen color that showed to be more beneficial than others. It was found by researchers of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, that, “Over 20,000 healthy individuals were assessed over the course of a ten-year span. A nine percent lower stroke incidence was associated with those who consumed the highest amount of white fruits and vegetables as compared to either green, red/purple and orange/yellow produce with apples and pears being the most popular selections.” (AD)

In addition, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (EJCN) published a 2011 report that supported the ingestion of raw fruits and vegetables for stroke prevention rather than canned or other processed choices. Among 20,000 individuals followed over a ten year period, “Stroke incidence was found to be 30 percent lower for those who ate raw produce as compared to no reduction of stroke incidence attributed to the consumption of processed fruits and vegetables.” (AD)

Low Lycopene
Even though white fruits and vegetables made it to the top of clinical nutrition stroke prevention a 12 year study reported by the BBC and published in the Journal of Neurology (2012) found another tool in the arsenal against suffering a stroke; lycopene. As stated in Science News, “Evidence suggests that lycopene quells inflammation, limits cholesterol production and inhibits blood clotting. But first and foremost, lycopene is a carotenoid, an antioxidant that sops up unstable molecules in the body called free radicals —agents that can induce DNA damage, kill cells, attack proteins and contribute to blood vessel disease.” This was determined when lycopene, the bright red compound found in tomatoes, watermelon and peppers was studied for its effects. In the study 1,031 high-risk (for stroke) men with the most lycopene in their system presented the least likelihood of suffering a stroke compared to those that had little to none.

Spice Reparation
The pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow color is called curcumin. It has been used in cooking for thousands of years but when this compound was studied on its own it showed great potential in being beneficial to human health. Research results of a curcumin formula known CNB-001 were presented at the 2011 American Heart Association International Stroke Conference describing how it goes beyond conventional medicine’s use of pharmaceutical blood thinners. The findings reported how curcumin does not dissolve blood clots (a major contributor to stroke events) but rather molecularly repairs damaged brain cells caused by the lack of oxygen during a stroke. Dr. Paul Lapchak, PhD of Cedars Sinai Hospital comments that curcumin, “moderates several critical mechanisms involved in neuronal survival,”.

Using a naturopathic doctor to improve your quality of life through the science of clinical nutrition can be highly beneficial for caring for and preventing stroke events. It can also catapult you onto a path of eating medicinally rather than solely for satiation. Being educated on your nutritional choices has the potential to enable you to continually maintain optimal health as well as allow your body to tap into its natural healing mechanisms.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

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