As the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While researchers have long known the health benefits of eating a diet high in fiber, new research points to one large benefit for heart attack victims – survival. The study of survivors of myocardial infarction found an increased fiber intake, especially of cereal fiber, resulted in a 31 percent decrease in the rate of all-cause mortality and 35 percent decrease in cardiovascular death. What is even more significant in this study, heart attack survivors can still reap benefits from eating more fiber after their heart attack. Those who ate the most fiber of the study population decreased their risk of death by 25 percent compared to those who ate the least fiber following their heart attack.
Foods High in Fiber
Want to start eating more fiber, but not sure where to start? Here are the most fiber-rich foods you can start incorporating into your diet today.
Raspberries, Pears, Apples, Bananas, Orange, Strawberries, Figs, and Raisins (Make sure to keep the skin on pears and apples.)
Grains, Cereal and Pasta
Whole-wheat spaghetti, Barley, Bran flakes, Oat bran muffin, Oatmeal, Air-popped popcorn, Brown rice, Rye bread, Whole-wheat or multigrain bread
Artichoke, Green peas, Broccoli, Turnip greens, Brussels sprouts, Sweet corn, Potato, Tomato Paste, and Raw carrots
Easy Ways to Add more Fiber
Several high-fiber foods make great toppings or additions to meals you probably already enjoy. Add some strawberries and raspberries to yogurt. Slice bananas on top of whole-wheat bread with peanut butter. Add extra vegetables to soups, salads and pasta. Pack a mid-day snack of a handful of almonds with a medium-sized pear. With every meal, think of one way to add a little more fiber.
Most Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diet – consuming on average only 15 grams per day. Women should aim to get 25 grams per day; men should get around 38 grams per day. Adding fiber to your diet can be easier if you keep it handy. Make sure your grocery list contains several items from the list above, but don’t always eat the same few sources of fiber. Change it up and keep it interesting. You might discover new foods you and your heart really enjoy.