Diet is one of the most important things to make sure you get right after suffering from a stroke. However, especially if the stroke has impeded your physical or mental ability to eat, it can be difficult to know what steps to take. Here are the key ways to eat right after having a stroke.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important to maintain generally, but if you’ve faced health problems such as a stroke, then it’s all the more important to ensure you’re eating in the best way to avoid increasing any risk of future strokes. This is especially key if you also suffer from things like cardiovascular disease, as these can be related and influence each other.
Cutting back on sugar, saturated fats, and salts are the biggest changes you can make to your diet, as these can contribute significantly to plaque buildup and thus increase your risk of a stroke. By avoiding these foods, you can lower your blood pressure and keep your body in check.
It’s not just about what you consume, but how you consume it. For a lot of individuals after a stroke, they may suffer from a condition called dysphagia, where the individual has difficulty swallowing. This is important to be aware of for two reasons. Firstly, having difficulty swallowing poses a serious safety risk – it can lead to coughing or choking on food which can damage airways or even block them altogether.
Secondly, difficulty swallowing can make eating as a whole difficult. Especially in the initial recovery phase, it can be hard to find the energy to do even basic tasks such as eating and throwing in difficulty swallowing makes this task even harder. Not only can you lose the energy to eat right, but you can lose the motivation to and become disheartened and frustrated, and you may eat less, leading to weight loss. If this is continuous, it could be a risk to your health. Using a thickener such as SimplyThick Easy Mix helps make the eating process easier.
Ask for Help
If you’ve lost some of your motor ability after a stroke, tasks like preparing food can be incredibly difficult. For example, being able to stand for long periods of time or use parts of your body that may have been weakened by the stroke might hinder your ability to prepare food. This may put individuals off eating or eating in the right way, leading to weight loss.
Asking for help with food preparation, whether that’s from a friend, family member, or support worker, can be the support you need to eat right. Even if that’s them assisting you in the preparation, or doing the preparation for you, it can be a way to ensure you eat nutritious meals without overworking yourself or risking more damage to yourself.
Both eating the right things and eating the right way are key to looking after your health after a stroke. Whether that’s ensuring nutritious ingredients, using thickeners, or asking for support from loved ones, these are some ways you can make sure you eat right after a stroke.