Stroke can devastate a person's nutritional health because it may limit his or her ability to perform daily activities associated with eating, such as grocery shopping, preparing meals and feeding oneself.
Stroke can also impair a person's ability to swallow. Swallowing problems may result from weakening of the tongue or loss of coordination of tongue movements. Food can become pocketed between the cheek and teeth and drooling may occur because of an inability to seal the lips.
The person may also:
If calorie and nutritional needs cannot be met, the person may become malnourished, a condition characterized by weight loss and a poor appetite.
Diet modifications need to be individualized according to the type and extent of these impairments. A registered dietitian (RD) can develop a plan of care that will provide a satisfying and nutritionally adequate diet.
A healthy diet can reduce your risk for acquiring medical conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, high lipid levels (high cholesterol), coronary artery disease and obesity. All of these conditions can increase your chance of having a stroke. Your genetics, history of prior stroke, age, sex, current weight, distribution of body fat, eating habits and fitness level also influence your risk.
Factors that tend to increase blood pressure:
To lower your risk of stroke, follow these guidelines:
Practical tips for getting started on a healthier diet and lifestyle:
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/14/2019.