Higher Fiber Consumption May Mean Lower Risk of Stroke
Most Americans don't get enough dietary fiber - which is the part of the plant that your body can't digest completely - in their diet. A recent study showed, however, that increasing your amount of dietary fiber intake by a small amount might noticeably reduce the risk of a first-time stroke.
This meta-analysis included eight studies published between 1990 and 2012. The studies examined all types of stroke. Four of them looked specifically at ischemic stroke (caused when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel leading to the brain) and three examined hemorrhagic stroke (caused when blood vessels bleed in the brain).
After analyzing the data, the researchers found that a 7% increase in dietary fiber intake was associated with a 7% decrease in the risk of stroke.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK. It was published in the American Heart Association Journal Stroke on March 28, 2013.
Previous studies have linked fiber consumption with lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes and breast cancer prevention.
Soluble fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat and grains, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy vegetables.