Eat This for Breakfast for a Young Heart

Medically reviewed in August 2021

Intensify the heart-strengthening benefit of your morning meal by tossing fresh berries into your whole-grain cereal.

This fruit-and-cereal combo gives you two types of fiber -- soluble and insoluble. And research shows that ample amounts of both may be key to maintaining a young heart and reducing the risk of dying from heart disease.

Fiber-Up Your Future
Plant-based foods are your essential fiber source because dietary fiber is a substance found only in plants. We're talking fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains like whole-grain cereal. And in a 14-year study, people with the highest intakes of fiber -- particularly fiber from fruit and whole grains -- had about an 18% lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to folks with minimal fiber intake.

Fabulous Protective Fiber
Fiber's heart-saving magic is a triple threat: It improves cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and reduces belly fat -- all good things in terms of lowering the risk of heart disease and sustaining a healthy young heart. As a bonus, fiber helps steady blood sugar, too. Surprisingly, the recent study showed that insoluble fiber -- the stuff that helps keep you regular -- may have an even more intense heart-protective effect than soluble fiber does. People with the highest intake of insoluble fiber had about a 50% lower risk of dying from heart disease compared with a 28% risk reduction in people with the highest intake of soluble fiber. Still, we know that both kinds of fiber bestow important health benefits. So aim for balance -- and try to get your fiber from a variety of sources. (Get tips on boosting the nutritional benefits of your fruits and vegetables.)

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