Sure, you knew fiber could assist with regularity, but new research shows it also does your ticker good. Indeed, eating more of the grainy stuff may help to reduce the risk of stroke, which is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and strikes more than 100,000 Americans per year.

In a new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, researchers found each additional seven grams of total dietary fiber consumed daily to be associated with a seven percent drop in first-time stroke risk.  Note though, that the results are based on dietary fiber, and not soluble fiber (which dissolves in water) or insoluble fiber. Dietary fiber is the part of the plant the body doesn’t absorb during digestion.

In the observational U.K. study, the researchers pooled and analyzed eight studies which had examined both ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel to the brain) and hemorrhagic stroke (caused by a blood vessel bleeding into the brain).

In the past, increased fiber intake has been linked to lowering high blood pressure and LDL (bad) arthritis and heart disease adcholesterol, which both are risk factors for heart attack and stroke. While the American Heart Association recommends we get at least 25 grams of fiber daily, most of us fall way short of that amount.

You could get your seven grams of fiber in by eating one serving of whole wheat pasta along with two servings of fruits or vegetables. In general, foods that contain fiber include whole grains, fruits, veggies, and nuts. Six to eight servings of grains daily and eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily can help you reach the AHA-recommended amount.

How are You doing on daily fiber intake? Do you get 25 grams daily?