The best way to prevent a stroke is to address the underlying causes. This is best done by living healthily, which means:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Not smoking
- Avoiding alcohol or moderating consumption.
Eating a healthy diet means getting plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes; eating little or no red or processed meat; limiting intake of cholesterol and saturated fat (typically found in foods of animal origin); and minimizing salt intake so as to support healthy blood pressure.
Other measures taken to help reduce the risk of stroke include:
- Keeping blood pressure under control
- Managing diabetes well
- Treating obstructive sleep apnea (if present).
As well as these lifestyle changes, a health care provider can help to reduce the risk of future strokes through prescribing anti-coagulant and anti-platelet medication. In addition to this, the arterial surgery previously mentioned can also be used to lower the risk of repeat strokes.