Most of us are already familiar with the big lifestyle changes doctors recommend to reduce stroke risk, including losing weight and quitting smoking. Research over the last decade has turned up a number of smaller and easier steps that can also help to prevent high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and stroke. Here are 5 surprisingly easy ways to lower stroke risk, presented by a leading provider of elder care in Vancouver.
1. Add ground flaxseed to yogurt or oatmeal
A single ounce of ground flaxseed has two grams of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Try sprinkling ground flaxseed into oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal every day.
2. Drink alcohol
While too much alcohol is certainly bad for health, a recent study in Neurology found that a moderate amount of alcohol–or 3 to 9 alcoholic beverages each week–is associated with an 11 percent lower risk of stroke.
3. Reduce traffic noise at home
Traffic noise isn’t just annoying–it also increases the risk of stroke by 27 percent in seniors. This is because exposure to loud noise on a regular basis increases the body’s stress hormone levels and raises blood sugar. There’s no need to move to reduce traffic noise. Replace the windows or add a water feature so the sound of trickling water cancels out trucks and cars zipping by outside.
4. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep
Getting too much sleep can be as bad as getting too little sleep. People who slept 6 or fewer hours a night had a 48 percent greater risk of dying from a stroke than people who slept 7 to 8 hours a night, according to a recent study published in the European Heart Journal.
5. Avoid diet soda
A recent study has found a new risk associated with diet soda. People who drank diet soda daily had a 48 percent higher risk of stroke than those who didn’t drink any soda. Slowly wean off of soda and choose water or tea instead.
If your senior loved one could use help making healthy lifestyle changes or has experienced a stroke and requires additional support during recovery, let Home Care Assistance help. Our Vancouver stroke care ensures seniors have all the assistance necessary for a safe and efficient recovery in the comfort of home. Give us a call today at to learn more.