Obesity & Unhealthy Diets Boosting Strokes in Younger People

Obesity & Unhealthy Diets Boosting Strokes in Younger People

People often mistakenly believe that strokes are health issues that only happen to older people, well advanced into their late 60s, 70s or older. However, researchers are finding that people younger than 55 are having strokes at increasing rates. In many cases, a stroke is related to health conditions that can be improved through diet and exercise.

Obesity & Unhealthy Diets Boosting Strokes in Younger PeopleStroke Risk Increasing

In a study published in the most recent issue of the professional medical journal Neurology, researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that within the past two decades, people are experiencing strokes at younger and younger ages. They attribute this rise in the risk of a stroke to lifestyle changes that have occurred in recent years.

Over the past several decades, the incidences of obesity and diabetes have increased dramatically. Additionally, obesity increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. These health conditions are all associated with stroke. According to Brett Kissela, one of the study authors, “given the increase in stroke among those younger than 55, younger adults should see a doctor regularly to monitor their overall health and risk for stroke and heart disease.”

Lifestyle Changes

Eating brightly colored fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to reduce the risk of stroke. Fruits and vegetables that are red and orange contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants have been found to protect cells from free radicals. Free radicals are the result of molecular breakdown of foods and other substances such as alcohol, tobacco and other toxins.

Foods such as tomatoes, red peppers, watermelon and papayas are an excellent source of antioxidants. Even if you are not currently eating these types of foods, adding them to your diet can improve your health. Children who eat a well balanced diet that includes brightly colored fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are less likely to develop obesity and the health problems associated with it.

In addition to dietary changes, physical activity is also important. Being moderately active at least 30 minutes a day can improve stamina, cardiovascular function and muscle strength. Exercise also improves bone density and flexibility. Taking daily walks, bike riding, swimming and yoga are all forms of physical exercise that almost everyone can engage in.

Exercise also provides other benefits besides weight loss. According to the National Institutes of Health, regular exercise can help prevent cancer and also helps improve cancer survival rates. Individuals who are physically active also have lower levels of depression and anxiety and are more self confident. Children who are physically active perform better at school and have fewer behavior problems than children who are sedentary.

Your risk of a stroke can be greatly reduced with healthy eating habits and physical activity. Both children and adults can benefit from eating a diet that contains organic whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods and lean protein. If you and your family have a sedentary lifestyle, find something active that you enjoy and do it every day. It will improve your health and your happiness.

– The Alternative Daily

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