Fiber is often stigmatized. Maybe this is the reason why so many people do not include it in their daily diet as it should. Here are some interesting facts that you may not be aware of.
What Can Fiber Do For You?
As fiber stays in the stomach more time than other foods, it can help you feel fuller. It also helps digestion and prevents constipation. When including high fiber foods, you are adding meals that are low in calories, and you will have more energy for exercising.
Dietary fibers prevent constipation and diarrhea, meaning it normalizes bowel movements. It can diminish risk of kidney stones, hemorrhoids, gallstones, diverticulitis and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). It is also said it can even help reduce gastric acid and even ulcers and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder).
Acne can be caused by fungus and yeast excretion. Including fiber on your diet may help flush the toxins out of your body, contributing to skin’s health and look.
Consuming insoluble fiber can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. People who have diabetes can benefit from soluble fiber as this can slow the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar levels.
Eating a diet high in fiber, especially soluble fiber, can improve cholesterol levels by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. A high fiber intake can also reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors linked to coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Fiber can help to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and shed excess weight around the abdomen.
Back To Basics: What Is Fiber?
Fiber is the part of plant-based foods (grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans) that the body can't break down. It passes through the body undigested, keeping your digestive system clean and healthy, easing bowel movements, and flushing cholesterol and harmful carcinogens out of the body.
Fiber comes in two varieties: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It is the bulky fiber that helps to prevent constipation, and is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps control blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. Good sources include barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.
Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. In general, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fiber. There is no fiber in meat, dairy, or sugar. Refined or “white” foods, such as white bread, white rice, and pastries, have had all or most of their fiber removed.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you add a lot of fiber to your daily intake you may suffer from bloating, diarrhea or abdominal cramps. These should disappear when your body gets used to the change. Go ahead and just start gradually by adding fiber to your diet and increasing water intake.