Eating high-fiber foods has long been touted as an effective means to suppress appetite and lose weight. Now a study published in the journal Stroke reports that eating high-fiber foods reduces the risk of stroke. The findings were pooled from eight observational studies indicating that each seven-gram increase in daily fiber intake reduced the risk of first stroke by about 7 percent.
Water soluble fiber, like the kind found in beans, nuts and other foods reduced the risk substantially. Insoluble fiber and cereal fiber reduced it slightly. Fruits and vegetables contain both types of fiber, and a quick and easy way to increase your fiber intake from vegetables especially is by making a cooked vegetable purée and stirring it into a pasta sauce or rice. You can do this with winter squash into risotto, which is a wonderful and tasty Italian dish or with the American favorite macaroni and cheese and a purée of steamed cauliflower and carrots… mmmm, buonissimo!
The recommended levels of fiber intake are 21-25 grams for women and 30-38 for men. The current average fiber intake in the United States is about 13 grams a day for women and 17 for men, according to background information in the study. Increasing these amounts by 7 grams a day would bring them close to recommended levels.
“Seven grams a day increase is an achievable goal,” said the senior author, Victoria J. Burley, senior lecturer in nutritional epidemiology at the University of Leeds. “You’re talking about swapping white bread for whole wheat or increasing vegetable and fruit by two portions a day.”
- The Importance of Fiber for Health & Well-Being (holistichealthliving.wordpress.com)
- Extra Fiber Tied to Lower Risk of Stroke (nlm.nih.gov)