Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. American Heart Month draws attention to simple ways to proactively care for your heart. Diet and cardiovascular health are strongly connected. Consider taking a small step towards a more heart-healthy lifestyle with a high-fiber diet.

When you think of fiber, you may think of digestive regulation and gut health, but dietary fiber may help reduce LDL and overall cholesterol levels which may lower your risk of developing heart disease.

Eating fiber-rich foods may help you maintain a healthy weight, which may keep your heart healthier by reducing your risk of developing conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Fiber improves satiety and may help reduce the number of calories you need to feel full. 

Are you getting enough fiber? The recommended daily fiber intake is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. Many people aren’t meeting this daily requirement and can benefit from adding more fiber to their diet.

An easy way to increase your fiber is with Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber: a safe, effective prebiotic fiber that can be added to soups, sauces, baking mixes or your favorite noncarbonated beverages. Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber dissolves easily without changing the taste, texture, color or odor of your food or drink, making it an effortless way to add more fiber to just about anything.

Another way to meet your daily fiber requirements is by making small changes or additions to your diet with fiber-rich foods. These foods are both delicious and heart-healthy:

  • Whole grains. Good news for popcorn lovers! Whole grains such as popcorn, whole wheat, oats, corn and brown rice are a great source of natural fiber. A serving of whole grains is equivalent to one slice of whole-wheat bread, one cup of whole-grain cereal, five whole-grain crackers or 3 cups of unsalted popcorn. (Kick up your popcorn’s flavor with your favorite herbs and spices.) 
  • Fruits and vegetables. Adding a side of vegetables to your dinner or a serving of fruit to your breakfast is an easy way to make your meal more heart-healthy and rich in fiber. Have some green beans with tonight’s meatloaf, include a salad with lunch and sprinkle some berries on your morning cereal. 
  • Beans. Winter brings cravings for cold-weather favorite meals such as chili and hearty soups. Beans ramp up the fiber and nutrition. Beans can also be eaten as a side dish or pureed into dips and spreads. 
  • Nuts and seeds. Foods high in sugar and salt may be bad for your heart. Replace unhealthy snacks such as chips and cookies with heart-healthy nuts and seeds. Almonds, pecans, walnuts and sunflower seeds are all high in fiber. Eat them by themselves or add them on top of muffins.

There are plenty of yummy high-fiber foods you and your family can add to everyday meals. You can also still enjoy your favorite foods while increasing your fiber with Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber. Keep it on your kitchen counter and easily add more heart-healthy fiber to your next meal.