Fiber is one of the most vital foods in your diet. This plant-based nutrient plays a key role in helping your digestive system flourish, and also works wonders for your blood sugar and cardiovascular health.
What makes it so unique? While other food components like proteins, fat, and carbohydrates are broken down and digested by the body, fiber passes through your digestive system relatively intact. As a result, it can help with functions like promoting bowel movements, maintaining colon wall health, and more.
Experts recommend that women should eat between 21 and 25 grams of it
every day, while men should eat from 30 to 38 grams daily. It can be found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as lentils, nuts, seeds, and dried beans and peas. You can also increase your fiber intake by taking it in supplements and eating foods fortified with it.
Read more to find out why fiber is good for you.
1. FIBER HELPS REGULATE BLOOD SUGAR.
It reduces the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the body, preventing blood sugar levels from rising to harmful levels. Spikes in blood sugar level, often caused by consuming a high-carb meal, can also lead to feelings of hunger and the impulse to overeat. Eating fibers prevents this and may even reduce your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
2. FIBER SUPPORTS GOOD BACTERIA.
Probiotics are good bacteria in the intestine that help your digestive system run smoothly. Many types of them are prebiotics, or substances that feed these probiotics and allow them to thrive. The result: boosted gut health!
3. FIBER KEEPS YOU REGULAR.
It helps keep water content in stool regulated. It softens stool when it’s running soft, or alternatively gives stool more structure when it’s getting too runny. By keeping things just right, it contributes to smooth, regular bowel movements, warding off unpleasant conditions like constipation and diarrhea.
4. FIBER CLEANS THE COLON.
It works like a scrub brush on the inside of your colon, cleansing away bacteria and buildup. It keeps the colon wall in peak health, reducing the risk of developing hemorrhoids and colon cancer.
5. FIBER REDUCES HUNGER.
As it absorbs water in the intestines, it slows down the intake of nutrients. This has the effect of making you feel full faster and for longer periods of time. It’s a natural way to reduce your calorie intake, and those switching to a high-fiber diet may find themselves effortlessly dropping a few pounds.
6. FIBER AIDS IN DETOXIFICATION.
Your body is constantly at work breaking down toxins like synthetic food ingredients, excess hormones, medications, and more. Fiber helps it along by binding these toxins so that they can be eliminated and expelled from the body through urine.
7. FIBER CAN REDUCE CHOLESTEROL.
Some studies show that it can slow down the rate at which cholesterol is absorbed into your bloodstream. This puts you at less risk for life-threatening conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.