Researchers at the University of Leeds, in the United Kingdom, have demonstrated in a new study that consuming more dietary fibers is correlated with a positive health effect on the human heart. Eating as little as one extra portion of fibers per week can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Combining wholegrains with fruit and vegetables reduces the risk even further, the team explains in the latest issue of the esteemed British Medical Journal. The protective effect extends to both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD). These conditions account for 48 percent of deaths in Europe, and 34 percent of deaths in the United States.
The research was carried out of studies published in medical journals from 1990 to present. Covered cohorts ranged from Europe and the US to Japan and Australia. A total of six databases were surveyed for possible links between CVD risk and extra dietary fiber intake, EurekAlert reports.
“Diets high in fiber, specifically from cereal or vegetable sources […] are significantly associated with lower risk of CHD and CVD and reflect recommendations to increase intake,” the team writes. The extra amount can be obtained from bread, cereal, rice, and pasta, or from three extra servings of fruit or vegetables.