Expensive drugs with dangerous side effects have, for years, seemingly been the only solution for many to help prevent strokes. We seem to be resigned to trading one health problem for another.

Recent research, however, indicates that eating more of one cheap ingredient – you can find in any supermarket – can significantly lower one’s risk for stroke.

Plus it contains a long list of other health benefits- including lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and losing weight.

For years we’ve been told that increasing our fiber, or roughage, is essential to our colon health. There isn’t likely anyone over the age of 30 who doesn’t conjure up an advertisement of some sort of white powder supplement.

While healthy bowels are important, what other benefits are we seeing from increased fiber intake?
Would you believe stroke?

It seems to be quite a stretch from colon health, but not really. Researchers in England have found that increasing fiber in one’s diet up to 7 percent also decreases the chances of stroke by 7 percent.

This is due to reducing risk factors which trigger strokes including: high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol.
There are two types of fiber:

1) Soluble fibers
break down in the large bowel and that helps to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. Soluble fibers can be found in legumes, oats, citrus, peas, carrots and barley.

2) Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, are broken down in the stomach and this in turn, slows the rate that the stomach is emptied, helping to keep one feeling fuller and slowing weight gain. Foods containing insoluble fibers include nuts, beans, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans and whole wheat flour and bran.

Which type of fiber foods should you be eating?

The focus should really be on increasing overall fiber intake rather than comparing, as most plant based foods (including beans and oatmeal) contain both soluble and insoluble fibers.

The key is to eat a wide variety of these foods and try to get at least 35 milligrams of fiber per day. Avoiding processed foods is an easy way to increase fiber.

Lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and losing weight are only three examples of many benefits you get from increasing fiber intake. For more info on attaining these goals…

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