11 recipes ideal for stroke survivors and that will also nourish the brain

May 7 2017 - 9:54pm
recipes ideal for stroke survivors and that will also nourish the brain

The physical challenges a stroke patient goes through may include: difficulty swallowing, lack of appetite, memory loss and or arm and hand movement. Besides having to deal with such difficult challenges, carers and stroke patients must be mindful of dietary requirements. So, choosing a diet that will be ideal for stroke survivors and that will also nourish the brain, is very important in the recovery process. Therefore, oods that need to be consumed post stroke must be the one’s who improve and benefit the body and brain, since the brain is the part of the body affected in a stroke, causing all the post stroke symptoms.

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The National Stroke association advises that after suffering from a stroke, the patient must increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, grains, lean protein and limit processed sodium consumption, which is found in high amounts in processed foods.

The ingestion of neuro protective foods, rich in phytochemicals, must be the main focus in the diet of a patient going through the post stroke recovery process.The most important phytochemicals ideal for stroke survivors and that will also nourish the brain are: flavonoids, antioxidants, carotenoids and sulfides.

Bellow are the recipes with some of the foods that are reported to be ideal for stroke survivors and that will also nourish the brain. The recipes are divided by their phytochemical category.

flavonoids

Foods rich in flavonoids are ideal for stroke survivors and that will also nourish the brain are: Romaine lettuce, blueberries, celery, Tomatoes, peaches, apples, garbanzo beans, pears, strawberries, watermelon.

1) tomato soup

ingredients

2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
2 organic chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups of chopped fresh plum tomatoes
6 large ripe tomatoes
½ a bunch of fresh basil

method

Peel and roughly slice the carrots, slice the celery, and peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add all the prepped ingredients, then cook with lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened.

Crumble the stock cubes into a jug, cover with1.5 litres of boiling water, and stir until dissolved.

Add the stock to the veg pan with tinned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them (these give an amazing flavour – trust me!).

Give it a good stir and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.

Remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the basil leaves.
Using a stick blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Taste and check the seasoning, then serve.

2) garbanzo bean dip

ingredients

200g of cooked garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1⁄2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon oil
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons or more cilantro, chopped

method

For a smooth dip, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. OR for a chunky dip, mash beans well with a fork or potato masher then stir in remaining ingredients.

Add additional liquid as needed for desired consistency.
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

3) Romaine lettuce, blueberry and strawberry salad

ingredients

3 T. white wine vinegar
3 T. water
1 T. honey
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

About 6 cups torn green leaf or romaine lettuce
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cups sliced almonds

method

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl; whisk until well combined. {Or, place in a jar and shake until well mixed.}
Combine strawberries, blueberries, and greens. Add dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Serve immediately.
Note ~ Once this salad is dressed, the strawberries begin to break down fairly quickly from the vinegar. I recommend tossing the salad with the dressing right before serving. If you need to prepare the salad in advance, combine the greens, blueberries, and almonds but keep the strawberries in a separate bowl. Add the strawberries and dressing at the time of serving.

4) Apple, peach, orange and pear juice

ingredients

1 peach, 1 pear, 1 apple 1 navel orange

method

Remove the pit from the peach and core the pear and apple. Cut the fruit into sections and juice.

Antioxidants

Antioxidant foods are proven to have neuro –regenerative capabilities, and these are: beets, brocolli, cranberries, kidney beans, dark chocolate, mangoes, kale, black and green tea.

1) beetroot, broccoli, kale salad with lime tahini dressing ( serves 2)

ingredients

2 Tbsp sesame oil
5 cups broccoli crowns
1 cup corn kernels
1 medium beet, peeled &grated
2 cups kale, washed, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh dill
1⁄4 cup tahini
juice from 2 limes
1 tsp of olive oil
1/3 cup water

method

In a skillet, add sesame oil and sauté broccoli crowns for five minutes on high, until they’re soft.

In a small food processor or blender, combine dressing ingredients and blend.
Add kale and broccoli to a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and pour dressing over top. Enjoy immediately

2) Dark chocolate cranberry date bar

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ingredients

¼ cup soft dates
2 tsp cocoa
2 tbsp chopped almonds
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
pinch of cinnamon

method

Finely chop dates until they form a smooth paste.
Knead in cocoa and cinnamon until fully incorporated.
Add in and knead together almonds, cranberries, and coconut.
Shape into a bar shape and press in a few sliced almonds for decoration.

Carotenoids

The increased consumption of foods rich in carotenoids leads to an increase in plasma level of carotenoids, which has been proven to minimize the risk of a stroke. Some of the foods rich in carotenoids are: carrots, yams, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, avocados, bok choy

1) bok choy stir fry ( serves 6)

Ingredients

5 bok choy bunches
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
salt to taste
coconut oil to cook in

method

Cut off the ends of the bok choy. Then chop the bok choy into 1-inch long chunks.

Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into a saucepan (or wok) on a medium heat, and then add in the bok choy chunks. Stir frequently while the bok choy cooks.

After the bok choy starts to wilt, mix in the garlic, ginger, and salt to taste.
Cook for another 1-2 minutes and serve.

2) cantaloupe ( melon fruit), apricot salad

ingredients

4 cups watermelon, cubed
6 apricots, washed pitted and chopped
1 cantaloupe, cubed
1/4 cup key lime juice
2 TSP raw cane sugar + 2 sprigs of fresh mint for garnish

method

Add fruit to a medium bowl toss with lime juice and sugar ( or honey). Serve chilled and garnish with fresh mint

3)squash, yam ( sweet potato), carrot soup

Ingredients

1 butternut squash, cubed
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 sweet onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons of olive, avocado, or coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons dried rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste

method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash, peel and cube/chop/dice veggies and place in large bowl. The butternut squash will take the most effort but its worth it! Look how pretty!
Drizzle cooking fat of choice over veggies and add rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix until all veggies are well coated.

Transfer to a large baking sheet and roast uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Take out of oven, mix and do a final taste test. Add more salt & pepper, if necessary.

Sulfides

Foods rich in sulfides are ideal for stroke survivors and will also nourish the brain, because they are neuroptrotective. Some of foods that are rich in sulfide are: eggs, onions, beans, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic

1) Shakshuka [Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce] Serves 4 to 6

ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
5 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (I was nervous and only used 2 Anaheims; I would go for 3 or 4 next time for a more moderate but still gentle kick)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
6 eggs
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pitas, for serving

Method

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.

2) Chicken broccoli and cauliflower stir fry ( serves 3)

ingredients

2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb Boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch pieces)
1 Red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
1/2 yellow bell pepper (thinly sliced)
2 Carrots (small, peeled and diced)
1 White onion (small, thinly sliced)
1/2 Head of broccoli (cut into florets)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
1 tbsp Coconut aminos
1 tsp Sesame oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until it starts to shimmer.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan.
Cook until browned.

Stir in the peppers, onion, and ginger and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
Add the broccoli and garlic and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Drizzle with coconut aminos and sesame oil and stir.

Garnish with sesame seeds and serve warm.

Other actions that a stroke survivor is adivised to take in the recovery process, are reported to be: aerobic exercise, because it improves cognition and motor function, and also sleeping well at night is essential for biological recovery, specially for stroke survivors. It is important to add that there is scientific research, on its early stages, that has discovered a novel treatment that could reverse damage in stroke patients, it is a technique called anti-Nogo-A therapy.

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