List Of Fruits For Stroke Patients


List Of Fruits For Stroke Patients is important that the recovery process begins as soon as possible. Stroke patients should never be on their own as enduring such an illnesses may lead to more serious conditions which cannot easily be treated. This list of fruits for stroke patients can help individuals understand how they can change their lifestyle in order to aid stroke recovery.

Food Tips for Stroke Recovery

Face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, loss of balance. These are just a few of the warning signs of stroke that more than 800,000 Americans experience each year, according to the American Stroke Association.

Strokes occur when a blood vessel bringing oxygen to the brain is either blocked or ruptured. Because strokes are so dependent on the heart and blood vessels, the main goal of your or your loved one’s stroke recovery is going to be keeping this cardiovascular system healthy, according to Sandra Harrison, a Registered Dietitian at Lakeland Regional Health. This is one of the best ways to avoid a second stroke.

Research shows that a great way to maintain cardiovascular health is to adopt a healthy diet. Before changing your diet, however, it is extremely important that you or your loved one can safely chew and swallow. After even a mild stroke, food may “go down the wrong way” and lead to choking.

“The first thing we do is bring in a speech therapist to evaluate whether the patient can safely chew and swallow,” says Harrison, Supervisor of Clinical Nutrition Services. If you are looking for follow-up stroke care, learn more about our Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine, an acute inpatient physical rehabilitation facility. If you need continued physician care following a stroke, our highly skilled USF Neurosurgeons and our highly experienced Cardiologists welcome the opportunity to serve you or your loved one.

If there is an inability to swallow, Ms. Harrison recommends sticking with pureed foods or thickened liquids to reduce the risk of food accidentally going into the lungs, which can cause choking or infections such as pneumonia. You can advance the diet if improvement in chewing and swallowing is shown by additional speech therapist evaluations.

If there is no trouble safely chewing and swallowing exists, here are some food tips Harrison shares for keeping stroke survivors’ cardiovascular systems healthy:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains.
  • Change dairy products to fat-free and low-fat products.
  • Choose lean meats and poultry, and try to bake, broil or roast meats instead of frying them.
  • Avoid seasoning meats with seasoned salts, marinades or sauces. Instead, season meats with natural spices, herbs or fruit juices.
  • Stay away from saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol and high-fat foods to help prevent plaque from building up in arterial walls.
  • Restrict your salt intake by sticking to a daily 2-gram sodium diet you can maintain naturally from the foods you eat.
  • Avoid processed foods, lunch meats, and high sodium snacks, like chips and crackers.
  • Look for foods labeled “salt-free,” “low sodium,” or “no salt added,” and avoid foods labeled “lower sodium” to help restrict your salt intake.

Although having a stroke greatly increases your risk of having another stroke, 80 percent of all strokes are preventable, according to the American Stroke Association. Adopting a healthy diet and maintaining your or your loved one’s cardiovascular health can help prevent future strokes from occurring.

How to Help Your Loved One With Eating and Nutrition After a Stroke

Getting proper nutrition is vital for stroke recovery, but many stroke patients struggle with eating. This may be due to appetite loss, problems moving arms and hands, trouble remembering when to eat, and difficulty with chewing and swallowing. If your loved one has recently had a stroke, following these diet and nutrition tips may aid their recovery. This article tackles how to make sure your loved one eats, including recipe tips for soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow, diet pointers for stroke patients with diabetes, and supplements for stroke recovery.

Remember to consult your loved one’s doctor about their stroke recovery meal plan to ensure that it is safe. Advice read online will not apply to every patient.

Encouraging Eating Despite Low Appetite After a Stroke

In addition to difficulty chewing and swallowing, stroke patients may find eating difficult due to a lack of appetite. Here are a few ways family caregivers can make sure their loved ones eat:

  • Pay attention to what foods the stroke patient finds most palatable. Your loved one recovering from a stroke will be most likely to eat their favorite foods as long as they can chew and swallow them. Try to serve the most nutrition-dense foods that are delicious to your loved one. More information about specific foods is covered in the next section.
  • Set specific times for meals to form a routine. Sharing mealtime with your loved one will also help to make the activity more social and enjoyable. Be patient, and do not rush your loved one to finish eating.
  • Serve food when your loved one has the most energy. This is typically earlier in the day.
  • Encourage the patient to eat higher calorie and more substantial, nutrient-dense foods first.

Soft Foods That Are Easy for Stroke Patients to Eat:

  • Pureed fruits and vegetables: Fruit and vegetables can be pureed with milk to both make them easier to eat and add nutritional value. Try experimenting with making smoothies in the blender!
  • Yogurt: Yogurt is one of the best foods for stroke patients because it is very easy to eat and also a great source of protein and some yogurts contain probiotics which aid in digestive health.
  • Custard or jello: These sweet treats have high palatability, which may make eating easier.
  • Porridge with milk: Eating warm porridges like oatmeal is an easier way for stroke patients to get grains than bread or rice.
  • Soft scrambled eggs: Eggs contain protein and a variety of beneficial nutrients including choline, biotin, and vitamin B12, and scrambled eggs should be easy to eat.
  • Liquid meal substitutes: While nutrition from whole foods is ideal if possible, protein shakes and other meal supplements can be helpful for stroke patients who have difficulty preparing and chewing food.

Stay away from any foods that are either sticky or dry like peanut butter or rice, as these will be very difficult to swallow even if they can be chewed. If your loved one can eat but has trouble gripping utensils, look into specialized appliances for stroke patients like Liftware. These utensils may be designed with cushioned grips or straps that attach to the hand.

Food for Stroke Patients With Diabetes

Stroke survivors with diabetes have specific health concerns that should be addressed through their diet under guidance from a doctor. In general, the diet recommendations for stroke recovery are fairly similar to those for diabetics. Stroke patients are often instructed to focus on eating lean protein and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables while limiting sugar, salt, and fats. Many liquid meal substitutes contain large amounts of added sugar, as do a lot of soft, palatable foods including most yogurts, puddings, and jellos. Make sure to be careful about these and choose sugar-free versions if caring for a stroke patient with diabetes.

Nutritional Supplements for Stroke Recovery

  • Potassium: Potassium controls blood pressure and may result in a better outcome after a stroke. Bananas, which can be easily eaten when pureed, are rich in potassium.
  • Omega-3: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and a variety of other natural sources, but they can also be consumed as a supplement. Omega-3 is linked to both stroke prevention and stroke recovery.
  • Vitamin B3: Studies suggest that Vitamin B3, found in high levels in turkey and other natural sources, can help recover brain function after a stroke.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is an antioxidant that protects body tissues including brain tissues damaged by a stroke.

It is essential to check with a doctor about supplements used during stroke recovery. Certain vitamins and supplements may interfere with medications. For instance, if your loved one is taking a blood thinner, supplements with blood-thinning properties can cause complications. An example of this is ginkgo biloba, which is sometimes recommended for stroke patients due to its positive impact on cognitive function but must be used with caution along with medications.

Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention

man and child buying veggies at farmers market

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States.

One of the biggest contributors to these statistics is a lack of commitment to a heart healthy lifestyle. Your lifestyle is not only your best defense against heart disease and stroke, it’s also your responsibility. A heart-healthy lifestyle includes the ideas listed below. By following these simple steps you can reduce all of the modifiable risk factors for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Lifestyle Changes

Stop smoking

If you smoke, quit. If someone in your household smokes, encourage them to quit. We know it’s tough. But it’s tougher to recover from a heart attack or stroke or to live with chronic heart disease. Commit to quit. We’re here to help if you need it.

Choose good nutrition

A healthy diet is one of the best weapons you have to fight cardiovascular disease. The food you eat (and the amount) can affect other controllable risk factors: cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and overweight. Choose nutrient-rich foods — which have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients but are lower in calories — over nutrient-poor foods. Choose a diet that emphasizes intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, nontropical vegetable oils, and nuts; and limits intake of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and red meats.  And to maintain a healthy weight, coordinate your diet with your physical activity level so you’re using up as many calories as you take in.

High blood cholesterol

Fat lodged in your arteries is a disaster waiting to happen. Sooner or later it could trigger a heart attack or stroke. You’ve got to reduce your intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol and get moving. If diet and physical activity alone don’t get those numbers down, then medication may be the key. Take it just like the doctor orders. Here’s the lowdown on where those numbers need to be:

  • Total Cholesterol
    Your total cholesterol score is calculated using the following equation: HDL + LDL + 20 percent of your triglyceride level.
  • Low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol = “bad” cholesterol
    A low LDL cholesterol level is considered good for your heart health. However, your LDL number should no longer be the main factor in guiding treatment to prevent heart attack and stroke, according to the latest guidelines from the American Heart Association. For patients taking statins, the guidelines say they no longer need to get LDL cholesterol levels down to a specific target number. Lifestyle factors such as a diet high in saturated and transfats can raise LDL cholesterol.
  • High-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol = “good” cholesterol
    With HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels are typically better. Low HDL cholesterol puts you at higher risk for heart disease. People with high blood triglycerides usually also have lower HDL cholesterol. Genetic factors, type 2 diabetes, smoking, being overweight and being sedentary can all result in lower HDL cholesterol.
  • Triglycerides
    Triglyceride is the most common type of fat in the body. Normal triglyceride levels vary by age and sex. A high triglyceride level combined with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is associated with atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls that increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Lower high blood pressure

It’s a major risk factor for stroke a leading cause of disability in the United States. Stroke recovery is difficult at best and you could be disabled for life. Shake that salt habit, take your medications as recommended by your doctor and get moving. Those numbers need to get down and stay down. An optimal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mmHg.

Be physically active every day

Be physically active every day. Research has shown that at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep your weight at a healthy level. And something IS better than nothing. If you’re inactive now, start out slow. Even a few minutes at a time may offer some health benefits. Studies show that people who have achieved even a moderate level of fitness are much less likely to die early than those with a low fitness level.

Aim for a healthy weight

Obesity is highly prevalent in America, not only for adults but also for children. Fad diets and supplements are not the answer. Good nutrition, controlling calorie intake and physical activity are the only way to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity places you at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes — the very factors that heighten your risk of cardiovascular disease. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) can help tell you if your weight is healthy.

Manage diabetes

At least 68% of people >65 years of age with DM die of some form of HD; 16% die of stroke . Other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity can greatly increase a person with diabetes’ chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

Reduce stress

A few studies have noted a relationship between coronary heart disease risk and stress in a person’s life that may affect the risk factors for heart disease and stroke. For example, people under stress may overeat, start smoking or smoke more than they otherwise would. Research has even shown that stress reaction in young adults predicts middle-age blood pressure risk.

 Foods That Increase Stroke and Heart Disease Risk

Snacks in bowls

Did you know that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable? Learn which foods should be eaten in moderation to reduce your family’s risk of stroke.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the nation and a major cause for disability, killing 130,000 people each year. But did you know that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable, according to the American Stroke Association? Several stroke risk factors — high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, physical activity level, obesity, high cholesterol and heart and artery disease — can be controlled, treated and improved, right down to the foods we choose to consume each day.

Diets high in sodium can increase blood pressure, putting you at greater risk for stroke. A high-calorie diet can lead to obesity — another risk factor. And foods high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol will raise your blood cholesterol levels causing blood clots, which — you guessed it — can lead to a stroke.

The “not-so-fab” five foods listed below play a large role in damaging your body and causing vascular disease, stroke and heart disease and should be avoided on a regular basis. However: Moderation is the key to life, in my opinion. Sure, everyone is going to have a soda here and there or a steak off the grill, but keep it off the main menu. 

1. Packaged and Fried Food

Have you noticed foods like hot dog buns and bottled salad dressings rarely go bad? Ever asked yourself why? This is due to the use of hydrogenated oils, which are trans fats. Hydrogenated oils stay solid at room temperature and do not require refrigeration. Convenient? Yes. Healthy? No. Unfortunately, many frozen foods and meals also fall into this category, except for frozen fruits and veggies.

So here’s the lowdown on trans fats: They’re considered by many experts as the worst type of fat you can consume, raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowering your HDL (“good”) cholesterol. While some meat and dairy products contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fat, most dietary sources are formed through an industrial process adding hydrogen to vegetable oil, causing the oil to solidify at room temperature. 

The FDA is in the process of restricting or possibly banning trans-fats from food in the U.S. A study published in JAMA Cardiology compared data from counties with and without trans-fat restrictions and the findings were substantial: There was a 6 percent decline in hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke in counties with trans-fat restrictions. 

Bottom line: Ideally no processed food should pass your lips, but realistically, aim for less than 2 grams of trans fat per day. Skip the store-bought treats at the office and fries at lunch. Also avoid crackers, regardless of what you are dipping them in. Choose to eat fruits to satisfy your sweet cravings and veggies and hummus to satisfy the savory. 

2. Lunch meat

Processed meats, including bacon, smoked meats and hot dogs, are all on the DNE (Do Not Eat) list, unless you want to play with fire. Processed meats are a no-go if you want to keep your arteries clear of plaque buildup. So what is the alternative to your salami sandwich?  Try a healthy alternative like a tuna sandwich with avocado (a great alternative to mayo) or a veggie sandwich.

3. Diet soft drinks

First of all, when a drink is sweeter than a candy bar but it contains zero sugar and zero calories, buyer beware. Many consumers think because a soda is labeled “diet” it’s a better choice, but studies have linked diet soft drink consumption with an increased risk of stroke and vascular disease. In a nine-year study of more than 2,500 people, those who drank diet soda daily were 48 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke or die from those events, compared with those who rarely or never drank soda.

What else are you supposed to drink? If you must drink soda, break the everyday habit and drink it on special occasions; otherwise water rules. And if you don’t like water, try flavoring your water with fruit slices.

4. Good-old red meat

So is there ANY good meat out there you ask? The answer is yes, but it’s not red. In the journal Stroke, an article showed women who consumed large servings of red meat regularly had a 42 percent higher incidence of stroke. Red meat is high in saturated fat, which clogs arteries with plaque.

The alternative to red meat is a heart-healthy protein like poultry or fish, or even non-animal products like beans, nuts and tofu. 

5. Canned foods

Steer clear of factory processed soups, beans and sauces. Canned items all have incredible amounts of sodium or MSG or baking soda/powder to maintain their freshness and shelf life. One study showed if you consume more than 4,000 mg of salt per day, you more than double the risk of stroke compared to diets with less than 2,000 mg.

Another tip: When possible, plan and make meals from scratch.

Making the wrong meal or snack choices is one of the biggest contributing risk factors for stroke and heart disease. Most people know what good food choices are, but they don’t realize the serious impact the bad choices have on overall health. Learn what is most beneficial to your body to consume. It will be a life changer – literally.

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