Shopping for Stroke Prevention

February 07, 2017

Find out how to support your shopper’s heart health with stroke prevention.

It’s becoming more and more apparent that we need to start taking care of ourselves at a younger age – a study published online in Neurology found that strokes are affecting a greater amount of adults before they reach middle age.

Researchers found that the average age people suffered a stroke fell from 71 (1993-1994) to 69 in 2005.  After more data crunching, they found that 13 percent of stroke sufferers were adults aged 20-54 during 1993-1994, and in 2005, 19 percent.

There are various explanations for the increase in stroke in a younger age group; one, a rise in risk factors such as obesity and diabetes, another the fact that diagnostic techniques are getting better and better. Regardless, there are various modifiable risk factors to note.  Quitting smoking is top of the list, as well as getting more exercise and moving more (possibly even yoga or meditation to help with blood pressure), and dietary improvements.

Help your shoppers keep a healthy heart with these tips:

First off, suggest they create a shopping list, creating a list ahead of time not only allows you to make meal plans for the days ahead but also helps you focus your grocery trip.

What should the list include? Heart healthy antioxidant rich foods include: tomatoes, oily fish (such as salmon and sardines), green tea, carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, alfalfa sprouts, cocoa (dark chocolate), berries, apples, and whole grains. Studies have shown that those who ate 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a 39 percent lower risk of stroke than those who did not.

Blue and purple produce like eggplant, plums, red cabbage and grapes are rich in anthocyanidins which help lower risk of heart attack and stroke by dilating blood vessels; keeping the blood flowing freely.

Included on the list should be foods rich in essential fatty acids like nuts (unsalted), olive oil, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, avocados, salmon, chia or salba, trout, sardines, herring, and mackerel. 

Garlic and onions are also important for heart health as they contain compounds that can help reduce cholesterol levels.

Drinking water and staying active is also great for your heart. Place reusable bottles on endcaps for heart health so shoppers can have water on the go, remain hydrated, and save money.

Making conscious choices when shopping or eating out can go a long way and there are many easy choices that can be made in the grocery store to help your shoppers stay healthy.

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the US. According to the American Stroke Association every 40 seconds someone in the US has a stroke.