Unfortuntely, the end to human and financial losses associated with stroke is not in sight. It will possibly get worse.
Why? Modern man zeros his mind on drugs and surgery for solutions to health challenges. Yet, drugs and surgery contribute only 10 per cent to human health while diet and lifestyles, which are within the control of individuals, account for 90 per cent positively or negatively.
Invariably, our health status is determined by what we eat and how we live.
Therefore, for Nigerians to put stroke at bay, the searchlight must be on our diet and lifestyles. Dr. Larry B. Goldstein of the Duke University Stroke Center put it best. “People who eat healthful diet and follow healthy lifestyles, have about 80 per cent reduction in the risk of stroke. There is nothing we do medically that is associated with an 80 per cent reduction in the risk of stroke.” However, many Nigerians particularly the urban dwellers literally invite stroke by what they eat and how they live.
Why and how? Unlike other spheres of life, the pattern of eating and lifestyles to live healthier, longer life, is immortal. We must eat the same way the early men ate in order to promote health and healing, because there is only one model of man since creation. God designed the physiology of man and the foods to make it work efficiently in perfect health. This was why drugs were not part of God’s creations.
Rather, God put drugs in foods, and foods in drugs. In other words, foods and drugs are inseparable. To do otherwise is tantamount to saying 12 is different from a dozen, which modern man does by consuming processed foods and drinks and rely on drugs and surgery for health and healing.
The result is awful. Globally, modern man contends with diseases alien to nature, because human body is not structured for a lot of foods and drinks being consumed daily. For instance, frying foods is the rule rather than exception for most Nigerian women particularly the urban elite. Funerals, weddings and other social engagements are purely feast of fried foods especially meat and fish. Frying is the “civilised” way of preparing foods irrespective of damage it has done to their chemistry and composition. But what is the connection between fried foods and stroke?
Indulgence in fried foods depletes key hormones like DHEA and testosterone, which help the body maintain normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels among other critical functions. As a matter of fact, pernicious level of these hormones coupled with other systemic disorders trigger type 2 diabetes and hypertension — two major causes of stroke.
Besides depleting essential hormones, fried foods also cause accumulation of fats, which impair blood circulation that often precipitate insulin resistance that make type 2 diabetes incurable with drugs. According to J.C Alexander, PhD, University of Guelph, Ontario Canada, “people who eat a lot of fried foods are particularly vulnerable to circulation problems because frying allows oxidation of fats to take place faster”.