For centuries, fiber has been considered an important substance found in fruits and vegetables. To begin with, our digestive system relies on fibers to keep it running normally and preventing problems such as constipation. Once consumed, the fibers help the gut with bowel and stool movements. However, amongst the many benefits, it has to offer, reducing the chances of stroke is one of them.
Over the years, several studies have been conducted to find a direct relation between fibers and stroke risk. Fortunately, researchers have been able to come up with solid findings. Furthermore, fibers are of two types soluble and insoluble. Each type has different benefits to offer. Therefore, let us discuss how specifically fibers help to reduce the risk of stroke and the overall benefits offered to the body.
How does fiber help reduce the chances of stroke?
According to the American Heart Association, the consumption of fibers tends to decrease the risk of stroke. The more fibers you intake, the less are the chances of a stroke taking place. Fiber usually comes from a plant, which is neither absorbed nor digested by the body. Soluble fibers tend to dissolve with water, whereas insoluble fibers travel into the large intestine.
Previous studies conducted state that fiber helps maintain healthy blood pressure and discourages the growth of bad cholesterol, which otherwise increases the chances of stroke. However, newer studies conducted state that for each gram of fiber you intake, the chances of a stroke reduce by the same ratio as well. For instance, if you were to intake 7 grams of fiber on a daily basis, the chances of a stroke occurring reduce by 7% as well.
Fibers are mostly found in abundance in both fruits and vegetables. Prunes for instance is a good example of a fruit with sufficient fibers. However, you shall be able to derive maximum benefit if such fruits and vegetables are consumed in solid form. If you intend to extract juice, most of the fibers will be eliminated.
Although fibers are beneficial for everyone those with stroke risks due to being overweight, smoking, and high blood pressure, should especially consume fruits and vegetables with fiber. Between 1990 and 2012, a total of eight studies were conducted in Japan, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Investigators found that the consumption of fibers reduces the chances of stroke. However, at the time, they were not able to pinpoint as to which fiber-rich foods would provide the maximum protective benefit.
Fibers and Cardiovascular Disease
The relationship between fibers and cardiovascular diseases was determined by a large study conducted on more than 16,000 middle-age men. The study was conducted across the globe and for 25 years. The researchers determined that the intake of beans helps reduce stroke risk. Since beans contain abundant fibers, the risk was reduced by 82%. Dietary fiber from whole grains was found to have the most protective effect interms of cardiovascular diseases.
GI Function and Fibers
The intestines contain bacteria that help the body absorb food. As a result, the essential vitamins and minerals are then transported all around the body to feed the organs. The immune system receives fibers as well, which helps it improve immunity. Incase of stools not having adequate bulk, the colon panics and results in excessive contractions. The consumption of fibers can help prevent that.
Fibers encourage weight loss
It is a well-known fact that the more weight you carry, the higher are the chances of stroke. People who are mostly diabetic, obese, or overweight have higher chances of experiencing a stroke. In that respect, fibers will help you shed some weight. Several studies have researched the same topic and have clearly stated that dietary meals help lose weight. Fibers tend to keep your stomach full for a longer period and prevent frequent cravings.
As a result, you do not eat excessively, which helps gain weight. Furthermore, fibers also prevent your body from absorbing calories that are present in meals that you consume daily. Therefore, in simple words, the less you weigh, the less are chances of you experiencing a stroke and fibers in that respect help you avoid unhealthy eating habits
Fibers help reduce chances of type 2 diabetes
Sudden spikes in blood sugar could result in strokes as well. In fact, thousands of deaths that occur across the globe are due to sugar level suddenly spiking and causing a heart attack. It could clog the vessels going to your brain and rupture them as well. Researchers found that those who consumed 26g of fibers a day had reduced the chances of stroke by 18%. It is due to the fiber’s ability to keep the blood sugar steady and preventing excessive weight gain.
Reduces chances of cancer
Apart from fibers helping reduce the chances of stroke, it needs to be mentioned that fibers play an important role in reducing the chances of cancer as well such as colon cancer. Cancer is one of the lead causes of millions of deaths that occur across the world. Since cancer is as big as strokes, it is only right that we mention how it could help someone with a relevant problem.
The best thing about fiber-rich fruits and vegetables is that they mostly contain anti-oxidants as well in abundance. This helps the immune system fight against free radical cells. Therefore, while you are reducing the chances of stroke, the risk of cancerous cells being produced in your body is reduced as well.
What We Suggest
Consume more plants
Plants happen to contain the most amount of fibers. Whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts/seeds, fruits, and vegetables are a perfect source to match the daily fiber requirement. Studies have proven the fact that those who consume fiber-rich meals tend to have lower chances of cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. This, as a result, helps the body preserve its health and maintain its normal operational structure.
Concluding, strokes occur due to different reasons. It could be due to a person being overweight, diabetic or obese, etc. Fibers in that respect discourage weight gain, sudden blood sugar spikes and help maintain cholesterol levels. In other words, it protects your body against anything that might lead to a stroke. Therefore, the intake of fibers is necessary for overall health. If you happen to build your diets around foods that contain fibers, you shall significantly reduce the chances of stroke.