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Top 7 Vitamins for Stroke Recovery to Boost Brain Health

top vitamins for stroke recovery

Which vitamins for stroke recovery should you take?

We reviewed dozens of scientific journals in search of the best stroke supplements available.

But before you dig into the top 7 vitamins we found, please heed a word of warning.

Take Supplements for Stroke Recovery with Extreme Caution

While this article provides a list of science-backed vitamins and supplements that might help boost stroke recovery, you need to proceed with extra caution.

You MUST check with your doctor before adding new supplements to your regimen because they can interfere with any medication you’re taking.

Some stroke supplements are deceiving and can actually make your health worse.

For example, ginko biloba is an herb that is used to help prevent ischemic stroke because it’s a natural blood thinner…

However, that means it can also put hemorrhagic stroke survivors at higher risk of another stroke!

To worsen the situation, this also means that complications can arise if you’re already on blood thinning medication.

So we aren’t just “covering our butts” when we tell you to check with your doctor. It’s seriously necessary to prevent risk of medical complications and even death.

So, read through the following best vitamins and supplements for stroke, and if you decide to take any of them, run it by your doctor first.

Let’s dig into the list.

Bonus: Download our free stroke recovery tips ebook. (Link will open a pop-up that will not interrupt your reading.)

The Best Science-Backed Vitamins for Stroke Recovery

1. Vitamin D

#1 vitamins for stroke recovery

Vitamin D made the top of this list because the studies are undeniable.

According to the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, low levels of vitamin D are associated with worse outcomes in ischemic stroke (the type of stroke caused by a clogged artery in the brain).

Getting sufficient vitamin D can also help boost your health by providing neuroprotective, neuromuscular, and osteoprotective benefits, according to Current Drug Targets.

This means that vitamin D helps protect your brain, muscles, and bones!

Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency is associated with the stroke risk factors of hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. (Source: American Heart Association)

By getting your daily vitamin D, you can help reduce your risk of a second stroke and aid your brain in recovery.

How to get it naturally:

Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin.

Your body can synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure. Just be sun smart and get exposure during off-peak hours (before 10am and after 4pm).

If you can’t get sun exposure due to other medical restrictions (like high risk of skin cancer), you can get it from dietary sources like fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks.

2. Vitamin B12

vitamin b12 supplement for stroke recovery

Vitamin B12 can support stroke recovery by boosting proper functioning and development of the brain and nerve cells, according to Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD, from BrainBlogger.

Since stroke recovery is all about rewiring the brain through neuroplasticity – which is the reformation and development of brain cells – it’s easy to see why vitamin B12 is essential during stroke recovery.

How to get it naturally:

Vitamin B12 can be found in animal products like fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. If you have a history of stroke risk factors like high cholesterol or atherosclerosis, try to stick to lean sources like fish and poultry.

3. Probiotics

probiotics for stroke recovery

Probiotics are interesting because they aren’t a vitamin or a mineral.

Instead, probiotics are the “good” bacteria that are part of your microbiome, which consists of 100 trillion little microbes that live inside your gut.

Your microbiome has a nervous system of its own called the enteric nervous system where it communicates with your brain through the gut-brain axis.

Needless to say, a healthy gut helps contribute to a healthy brain through this connection.

How to get it naturally:

You can get probiotics from fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, and miso. Yum!

4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

vitamin b3 for stroke recovery

Vitamin B3 is simply straight-up good for stroke recovery because it can help you recover brain function after stroke. (Source: MedicineNet)

And if that isn’t reason enough to love this B vitamin, it also helps boost ”good” cholesterol levels, which are often low in stroke survivors.

How to get it naturally:

You can find vitamin B3 in tuna, chicken, turkey, and salmon. For some meatless options, you can also find vitamin B3 in peanuts and brown rice – just in lesser quantities.

5. Fish Oil

fish oil for stroke recovery

Fish oil is a great source of EPA and DHA – two omega-3 fatty acids that are excellent for a healthy brain.

And a healthy brain is the entire goal of stroke recovery.

Furthermore, EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids, meaning your body cannot produce them on their own – you must get them for dietary sources (or supplements).

However you get them, essential fatty acids can help during stroke recovery by boosting brain function and reducing potential stroke risk factors.

For example, some studies suggest that DHA has a positive effect on stroke risk factors like hypertension and atherosclerosis. (Source: Pharmacological Research)

This makes fish oil helpful for both stroke prevention and stroke recovery.

Be aware that stroke patients on blood thinners like Wayfarin should check with their doctor first as fish oil is contraindicated.

How to get it naturally:

You can find an abundance of fish oil in fattier fish, like salmon.

6. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

coq10 for stroke recovery

CoQ10 is most famous for promoting heart health – but it’s good for your brain, too.

CoQ10 is powerful antioxidant that helps protect your tissues from the damage that toxic molecules, also known as free radicals, cause.

Bodily stress caused by these free radicals is believed to play a role in many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, a precursor to stroke.

Supplementation with CoQ10 can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and therefore reduce your risk of a second stroke.

Also, low CoQ10 levels have been associated with greater tissue damage to the brain during stroke.

How to get it naturally:

CoQ10 can be found in most liver organs like heart, liver, and kidney… But if you’re not too keen on organ meats (we could hardly blame you) then you can also find smaller amounts of CoQ10 in spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.

7. Vitamin C

vitamin c for stroke recovery

Vitamin C deficiency might be a stroke risk factor, especially in people with a history of hemorrhagic stroke (the type of stroke caused by a burst artery in the brain).

In a study from the American Academy of Neurology, 65 survivors of hemorrhagic stroke were compared to 65 healthy people.

On average, those who suffered a stroke had depleted levels of vitamin C while healthy people did not.

Study author Stephane Vannier, MD, concluded that “vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke.”

How to get it naturally:

You’re probably thinking oranges, right? While oranges are a good source of vitamin C, other greater sources are papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, and strawberries.

How to Get These Stroke Supplements without Spending Tons of Extra Money

If you’re not too keen on going out and buying all these supplements, there’s actually a better alternative:

Eat a variety of whole foods every day. Even better: eat whole foods that help stroke recovery.

The two keys here are variety and whole.

Whole foods are foods that most resemble their true form and are minimally touched by processing. When foods are processed, it can strip them of many essential vitamins and minerals.

For example, roasted vegetables pack way more nutrients than fried potatoes, and a blueberry/banana/yogurt parfait is much healthier than blueberry cheesecake.

When we eat a wide variety of whole foods, we’re much less likely to develop a deficiency because you have a higher chance of eating foods with the particular nutrients you need.

So go get your stroke recovery vitamins from healthy foods, or consult with your doctor if you plan on using supplements.

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More Ways to Recover with Flint Rehab:

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