There are few events in life that will cost you more recovery time than a stroke. So get up already — and get moving! The more you move your body, the stronger your cardiovascular system gets, and the less likely you are to have a stroke. If you can’t even remember the last time you did anything more strenuous than stroll to the kitchen to make a sandwich, start by getting a clean bill of health from your doctor. Then take off by going for a walk every day. It doesn’t have to be fast or far — a moderately brisk walk to the corner and back will do for starters. Gradually increase your time, speed, and distance until you’re really exercising — walking, running, biking, swimming, even dancing — for 15 to 20 minutes each and every day.
If you’ve already had a stroke or know someone who has, this news will be music to your ears: The journal Nutrition Neuroscience reported the results of a study involving 26 volunteers who had recently suffered a stroke. Half of the folks were given 20 milligrams of zinc each day for a month, while the rest took no supplements. At the end of the 30 days, the zinc takers had a 30 percent greater recovery in brain function than those who had not taken the mineral. And here’s even better news: You don’t have to take zinc supplements to get your brain-boosting quota. You can easily get 20 milligrams or more simply by eating plenty of zinc-rich foods like plain yogurt, lean meat, oysters, crabs, lentils, and the dark meat of turkey and chicken.
And for a quick breakfast on the go, this Fresh and Fruity Smoothie is just what the doctor ordered. It’s chock-full of anti-stroke superstars, including vitamin B, vitamin C, and potassium. What’s more, it’s just about as delicious as a drink can get.
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped
½ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup of milk
Combine the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass, and drink up!