Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. That's why May is dedicated as #StrokeAwarenessMonth!
But heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the U.S. and stroke and heart disease are typically thought of as two separate things.
While they are different in where they occur, they actually occur in almost the exact same mechanism.
Both stroke and heart attack have a root cause of blood clots cutting off blood flow. But did you know that our blood is actually part of our cardiovascular system?
Our CVS (cardiovascular system) is comprised of:
The blood vessels
Think about it- if we don't have blood, our heart doesn't have anything to do! Cardiovascular anything does not exist without blood.
So in order to have a healthy CVS AND prevent stroke and heart attack, we need to focus on a healthy heart as well as healthy blood.
You may not have known that there is a way that you can eat to improve your blood health. Crazy, I know!
Are you eating foods high in vitamins E and C?
What does your current water intake look like right now?
What colors are most typically on your plate?
Looking at these questions, we can get a sense for what your blood health looks like.
And there IS a way that you can improve your blood health, reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack, and still enjoy healthy and delicious meals!
A diverse plate is a health promoting plate, and including fruits and vegetables of all different colors help support our bodies. But there's one more step that's even more critical- your hydration.
Think about it like jello.
If you're making jello and you don't add enough water, you're going to get a REALLY thick and not entirely dissolved solution. Not the desired outcome.
On the flip side, if you add too much water, your jello won't set right. No one wants runny jello.
Hydration and fluid balance is so crucial to our health because blood viscosity (the thickness of your blood) is a major determining factor in blood clot formation.
Recently the "gallon water challenge" has become super popular, and it may be really dangerous. See above with the jello example- your hydration comes from your water intake AS WELL AS your coffee, tea, and even fruits and vegetables. Just be mindful and remember that too much of a good thing is not always good 😉
On top of eating well and drinking water, we should also prioritize cardio exercise- it is literally the exercise of our heart muscle.
The stronger it is, the better it can pump blood throughout our bodies, and the more forceful it can be to dislodge some minor clots!
Preventing heart attack and stroke is important to you, isn't it?
If so, be sure to subscribe to the Healthy is Hard Podcast and listen in on Monday, 5/17!
We're diving into the ins and outs of cardiovascular health and what that means for YOU!
If you're already subscribed, be on the lookout for a notification and make sure to leave us a review if you're loving the show! 💙
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