Unless you regularly eat vegetables, whole fruits, seeds and nuts, you may well be missing out on the healthiest forms of fiber available. So why is fiber so important?
Let’s find out…
The type of fiber and your gut health, play an important role in using fiber’s health potential. Let’s go over the two types of fiber first.
Soluble fiber: Are found in nuts, beans, blueberries and cucumbers. It dissolves into a gel-like texture, thus helping to slow down your digestion. As a result, it makes you feel full longer and is one reason why fiber may help with weight control.
Insoluble fiber: Found in foods like dark green leafy vegetables, celery, green beans and carrots, does not dissolve at all and helps add bulk to your stool. Foods move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination, as as result of this.
Note: Many whole foods, most especially vegetables and fruits, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
There’s no shortage of research showing how fiber may boost your health. Some of its top potential benefits include:
9 Health Benefits of Fiber
1. Heart Health
Your risk for heart disease drops by 9% for each 7 grams consumed daily. This is because of fiber’s cholesterol lowering properties.
2. Blood Sugar Control
Soluble fiber can help slow your body’s sugar absorption and helping with blood sugar control.
Adding 7 grams of fiber into your daily diet can reduce your stroke risk by at least 7%.
4. Treating and Preventing Constipation
Fiber is not absorbed through the GI tract, therefore fiber-rich foods add to stool bulk and decrease the amount of time needed for waste to pass through the digestive system. This is proven by research done using vegetables, fruits and wheat bran.
Dietary fiber soothes systemic inflammation and helps reduce risk of inflammatory diseases such as COPD.
Consuming more than 21 grams of fiber daily can help lower risk of kidney stones by 22%.
Adding more fiber into your diet can balance levels of healthy bacteria and can help in the digestion process.
8. Weight loss and Management
Individuals who increased their daily fiber intake to 30 grams or more lost nearly the same weight as those whore are on a strict diet plan, such as restricting calories.
9. Skin health
Fiber in particular psyllium husk, may help move fungus and yeast out of the body. This will prevent them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger rashes or acne.
Healthiest Sources of Fiber
If you want to add more fiber into your diet, don’t go for whole grains. Focus instead on consuming more nuts, seeds and vegetables. The following whole foods contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber.
– Chia seeds, flax, almond and Psyllium seed husk
– Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, green beans and peas.
– Root vegetables and tubers, that include sweet potatoes and onions
Remember this important rule, that is to get most of your fiber in the form of vegetables, not grains.