Most Americans don’t think much about their risk of a stroke. But it’s a leading cause of death in the United States and Canada. While we don’t want to be alarmist, it’s a good idea to know your risk, especially because most strokes can be prevented. One simple way to slash your risk: Eat more fiber-rich carbohydrates. According to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, each seven-gram increase in daily fiber intake was associated with a 7 percent decrease in stroke risk. That’s approximately the amount of fiber in half a cup of peas or half an apple. Increase your intake by 14 or 21 grams and you’ll reap double or triple the benefits. If that sounds like a lot of fiber, this could be a sign that you’re not getting enough. The average American eats between 10 to 15 grams per day, but the goal should be 25 to 35. To avoid shocking your gut, ease into a high-fiber diet slowly, and drink plenty of water. Great sources of fiber include almonds, sunflower seeds, raspberries, pears, lentils, whole-grain pasta, bran cereal, broccoli and corn.
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