Did you know that the benefits of fiber go beyond healthy digestion? This special kind of carbohydrate can help lower your risk for heart disease and related issues, including heart attack, stroke, and related death.
Our expert team at Advanced Cardiac Care, led by cardiologist Dr. Michael Avaricio, is pleased to provide diagnosis and treatment for heart-related problems. We can also advise you on healthy lifestyle changes to make.
Take a few minutes to learn how fiber-rich foods can help protect your heart health.
Fiber is found in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. And unlike other nutrients, your body can’t break it down during digestion. Instead, it stays nearly intact as it moves through your digestive system.
The two types of fiber include soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber binds with water in your digestive system, forming a gel-like substance that slows things down. Insoluble fiber improves bowel function and digestion by keeping food moving through your body.
The ways both forms of fiber interact with your digestive system, the foods you eat, and your body make it beneficial for your heart health. As soluble fiber moves through your digestive system, for example, it prevents your body from absorbing cholesterol. That means a lower likelihood of high cholesterol and blocked arteries.
Eating more fiber can also keep your blood pressure in a healthy place. Researchers theorize that it does so by improving your insulin metabolism and weight control. These factors also make fiber important if you live with diabetes — another condition linked with heart disease.
Chances are, you could use more fiber in your diet. In fact, only around 5% of adults in the United States meet their daily recommended amount of 21-38 grams per day.
Examples of fiber-rich foods that can help you reach your needs include:
In general, aim to eat more plant-based foods, such as colorful fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. And if you’re starting from very little fiber, gradually increase your intake to prevent gas pains and bloating.
In addition to high fiber foods, an overall heart-healthy diet can help improve your cardiovascular health. Other foods to work in include omega-3 fat sources, such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Meanwhile, keep unhealthy fat sources, like fatty meats and fried foods, to a minimum.
You can also safeguard your heart health by exercising regularly and making sure you schedule routine check-ups. And if you notice any unusual symptoms, such as chest pain or heartbeat changes, seek care promptly.
To learn more about the link between your diet and your heart health or to get the care you need, call Advanced Cardiac Care in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, New York, or request an appointment through our website today.