Fibers are edible carbohydrates that remain undigested in the human body, i.e., they cannot be broken down by digestive enzymes. Dietary fiber or roughage is plant-derived, such as cereals, nuts, lentils, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fibers are divided into three types, soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, and resistant starch. It is important to know that not all fibers are good for you.
To know more about the types and other health benefits of fiber, click here.
If somehow you can’t take the daily recommended value of fiber, fiber supplements might help. They also help treat various ailments, including constipation. Check out our article on fiber supplements to know which one is the right choice for you.
Considering the number of times we have talked about fiber, it is very pre-eminent that fiber has proven health benefits. Many pieces of evidence have fairly well established the fact that a fiber-rich diet can help prevent a lot of diseases. It helps avoid blood sugar spikes, decrease elevated cholesterol levels, maintain healthy body weight, and keep certain types of cancer at bay.
However, most people consume way less; almost half the amount of the daily recommended amount of fiber.
In this article, we will discuss how incorporating the recommended amount of fiber in your diet can help increase your healthy life span. That is true; a study has proven that consuming fibers after a heart attack can prevent it from happening again.
It is suggested, in a new study, that survivors of heart attack tend to live longer when they add more fiber to their diet.
A study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health was published in the British Medical Journal. It is a prospective cohort study showing that among the survivors of myocardial infarction, dietary fiber intake can affect their mortality rate. In other words, fiber eaters might reduce their chances of having a heart attack.
The object of this study was to evaluate the consumption of dietary fiber and changes caused by it on the patients who overcame a myocardial infarction. The effects of dietary fiber intake before and after a heart attack are said to improve cardiovascular transience.
A group of 2258 women and 1840 men were considered as participants. These people were free of any chronic diseases like stroke and cancer at the time of enrollment. Their dietary measurement was recorded every day. These participants all survived their first heart attack during the study. They were provided with questionnaires before and after their heart attack to record the responses.
This was followed for nine years after their first heart attack. During this time, almost 1000 participants of the study died.
The primary outcome of results was based on their fiber intake from food frequency questionnaires, drug use, medical history, and lifestyle modifications. Results showed that increased fiber intake post-MI helped reduce the chances of getting another heart attack. Intake of fibers also reduced the risk of dying.
During the overall study period, participants who consumed a greater amount of dietary fiber had 27% fewer chances of dying than the participants who consumed fewer amounts of fiber.
It was also observed that a greater intake of cereal fiber showed more promising results when compared to other sources of dietary fiber.
In short, taking a high fiber diet after a heart attack is inversely associated with all-cause mortality—cereal fiber, in particular, increases the chances of survival from a myocardial infarction.
Cereal fibers such as breakfast cereal, oatmeal, barley, rye, and wheat, have proven cardioprotective properties. Incorporating these fibers in your diet will help reduce the risk of many cardiac diseases.
Incorporating Fiber-Rich Foods in Your Diet
From decreasing the risk of high cholesterol levels in your body to helping you manage your weight-loss regime more effectively, a high-fiber diet is necessary for a healthy body. Incorporating fiber in your diet is significantly effective for improved regulation of the digestive system and bowel movements.
Consuming fiber aids in adding bulk to the digestive tract. It helps stimulate the intestines, which helps in better regulation of bowels and relieves constipation. Despite all the health benefits of fiber, you must gradually incorporate fiber-rich foods into your diet over time. Overdose of fiber might also result in bloating and gas.
Following are some of the best fiber-rich foods that can help increase your fiber intake:
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds top the list of fibrous foods. One ounce of chia seeds contains 10 grams of fiber or about 40 percent of the daily value for fiber. If you have diabetes, chia seeds may also help you improve your blood sugar control.
Adding chia seeds to your diet is easy. They don’t have a strong flavor, which makes them easy to add to just about any dish. These small seeds can be added to baked goods, sprinkled over cereal or yogurt, or even made into a pudding.
Did you know that the soluble and insoluble fibers in quinoa (one of the good carbs) not only help with weight loss but also help lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and your risk for diabetes? We already know that fiber is great for your digestive system, but it is also great for your heart health as well.
The high-fiber content in quinoa (5 grams per cup) also helps keep you full longer. If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, this is beneficial because it will help you eat less. You’ll be able to go longer between meals without feeling hungry or deprived.
Pears are tasty and loaded with fiber. You can quickly prepare a fruit salad containing pears or consume them raw to improve your fiber intake. A medium-sized raw pear contains about 5.5 grams of fiber.
What could be better than juicy and delicious strawberries helping you increase your fiber intake? Strawberries are one of the most nutritious fruits out there. In addition, they are packed with large amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants, and manganese.
A cup of fresh strawberries can provide you with about 3 grams of fiber.
Avocados are astonishingly healthy as instead of being packed with carbs, they have loads of healthy fats and high amounts of vitamin C, E, and B, and potassium and magnesium. You can easily incorporate avocadoes into your diet by making an avocado spread or whipping up a quick bowl of salad.
One cup of raw avocadoes provides you with about 10 grams of fiber.
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetables and is one of the superfoods as it is packed with various nutrients and essential minerals. Some of the significant nutrients broccoli provides us are vitamin C, K, and B. It is also loaded with potassium, iron, antioxidants, and manganese.
A cup of raw broccoli contains about 5 grams of fiber.
Dietary fibers contribute a lot to your health and wellness. The recommended amount of fiber intake is 38 grams for males and 25 grams for females. In the prospective study discussed above, it was proven that a greater intake of cereal fiber after a heart attack reduces the chances of getting another one. Consumption of dietary fiber also lowers the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
All in all, fiber can do wonders for your health, and it is never too late to incorporate it into your daily diet.