Fiber is very important for digestion and preventing many diseases. Here are six reasons why you should consume fiber daily and increase its intake in your diet.
Fiber is an essential nutrient for overall health. You can get fiber from whole plant foods such as fruits and fresh vegetables. It helps lower the level of cholesterol and maintains a healthy weight.
Many studies show that the right amount of fiber intake may benefit your health condition and reduce your risk of having a chronic disease. However, most people don’t receive enough dietary fiber.
What Is Fiber?
Dietary fiber is a kind of carbohydrate found in foods that our body does not digest. Many people add fiber to their diet as it has many health benefits.
Different types of fiber have different essential health benefits, identify the correct type of fiber for you and add it to your diet plan.
Fiber that dissolves in water is soluble fiber; the good bacteria in our gut can metabolize this fiber. The fiber that does not soluble in water is called Insoluble fiber.
Why Is Fiber Important?
Many health authorities suggest people increase their dietary fiber intake. It is present in most whole plant foods. There are many benefits of taking fiber, and you should add fiber to your diet plan to get the following benefits.
#1. It might lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
One-third of cancer patients face death due to colorectal cancer. Many studies support that high fiber-rich foods intake may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
However, it is not fully proved that fiber has the ability to prevent cancer because fiber is present in whole foods, which also contain other healthy nutrients and antioxidants. Other nutrients may also be the reason behind cancer-preventive effects.
Many doctors still believe that fiber helps keep the colon wall healthy, and they advise cancer patients to follow a healthy whole-food diet as it affects the risk of colon cancer.
#2. It feeds good gut bacteria.
Many bacteria live on the skin, in the nose, and mouth, but a large number of bacteria live in the gut. About 38 trillion bacteria live in the large intestine, called gut flora. These gut bacteria function in the body as they take care of substances that the human body can’t do alone.
The fiber you take gets consumed by these bacteria, and it helps these gut bacteria to grow. The gut bacteria feed on fiber because the human body can’t digest it, unlike other nutrients such as carbs, proteins, and fats.
All the other nutrients get absorbed by the body except fiber, and it makes its way into the large intestine, where good gut bacteria live.
#3. It can reduce cholesterol levels.
Soluble fiber is effective in reducing cholesterol levels. Many studies show that taking 2 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day can reduce the total cholesterol level of an average person by only 1.7 mg per dl and bad cholesterol by 2.2 mg per dl.
However, the effect depends on the fiber viscosity. Many doctors advise their heart patients to increase their fiber intake for a good heart. It also lowers the risk of having many heart diseases.
#4. It can minimize the risk of a blood sugar spike.
According to research, foods rich in high fiber are likely to have a lower glycemic index than carbohydrates. Carb-containing foods usually cause more spikes in blood sugar than fiber-containing meals. The viscous, soluble fiber only affects negligible blood sugar levels.
Many healthcare providers advise people to take more fiber than carbs to reduce the risk of spikes in blood sugar. Reduce your refined carbs sources such as added sugar and white flour.
#5. It helps in constipation.
Doctors advise increasing your fiber intake in order to reduce your constipation. Researchers believe that fiber helps absorb water, maximize the bulk of the stool, and boost the movement of stool through the person’s intestine. Other studies also support that fiber helps improve the symptoms of constipation.
You should consume more soluble fiber as it forms a gel that improves the laxative effect in your digestive tract. However, other fibers can worsen your constipation. You must choose the right type of fiber for your constipation.
#6. It helps in weight management.
Some types of fiber are effective in weight management as it affects your appetite. Some fiber reduces your appetite and helps you lose weight. You should increase your dietary fiber intake in your meal and automatically reduce your calorie intake.
Some fiber may not help you lose weight, while certain types of fiber, such as glucomannan, can vastly reduce your weight. Before you take fiber supplements for weight loss, consult your doctor.
Some Tips To Increase Fiber Intake
- Try replacing white rice, pasta, and bread with brown rice and whole-grain foods.
- Eat whole fruits such as orange, apple, and banana instead of drinking fruit juices.
- Instead of crackers, chips, or chocolate bars, use raw vegetables as snacks.
- Eat cereals with whole grain as their first ingredient for breakfast.
- Instead of using meat, use beans or legumes two or three times a week when making soups or meals.
How Much Fiber Should You Eat in a Day?
Many people in America don’t get enough fiber which they need. The average man needs 40 to 50 grams of fiber each day, and the average woman requires 25 to 35 grams in a day.
You can increase your dietary fiber intake by adding whole plant foods to your meal. You can also take fiber supplements to replace the deficiency of fiber in your body.
However, you should avoid taking supplements as much as possible because the best way to receive fiber is naturally from fruits, leafy green vegetables, wheat bran, whole grains, and beans.
As people grow, they require adequate fiber in their diet plan to prevent many medical conditions and keep them healthy by maintaining their proper weight. Their daily fiber intake falls short when people eat more processed food than whole-grains food. A person needs to keep the right amount of dietary fiber in their diet plan.
You should see a nutritionist for more tips on adding fiber to your meal. If you loved the information above, please share it with others on social media.