The health authorities give the public advice such as, “Eat more fiber”. They do advise you to consume more vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and any other foods rich in fiber. You might ask, why?
This is because the health authorities believe, that the dietary fiber helps in reducing the level of cholesterol in the body.
Furthermore, it also helps in preventing various types of diseases, and relieve constipation. Truly, the health benefits of dietary fiber are amazing.
However, the actual research about fiber does not really back up various claims. Despite the fact that fiber contains various important benefits, many of the health claims result to be untrue when put into test.
Fiber is truthfully overestimated, however, it is still a significant addition to the diet. And it is still an important part of a healthy living. Let me tell you why…
But, firstly we should get to know the necessary facts about this wonder complex carbohydrates.
What is Fiber?
Did you know that fiber is also called as roughage? Quite surprising, isn’t it? Fiber is actually a member of the plant-based food group that has a body that cannot break down. This complex carbohydrate passes through the body undigested.
This is the reason why it keeps the digestive tract healthy and clean. Facilitating the bowel movement and flushing out the harmful carcinogens and cholesterols out of the body.
The Dietary Fiber comes in two varieties, the soluble and insoluble fiber.
A lot of foods has both varieties of fiber, insoluble and soluble. On the whole, the food is has a higher content of fiber if it is more natural and is not processed.
Another way to categorize the compound is ‘non-fermentable or fermentable’. This only means that whether the friendly bacteria in the stomach can use the fiber or not.
It is very important to bear in mind that there are many types of fiber, just like fats which also has many different types. Some of the types of fiber have significant health benefits, while some of which are just useless.
It is recommended by the health authorities that men should eat at least 38g of fibers a day. Furthermore, women should eat 25g of fiber a day.
Why is Fiber Beneficial?
Did you know that when you eat foods rich in fiber, the good bacteria in the intestine are being fed? This is the main reason why fiber is beneficial for the body. Especially in our health
Did you know that your body isn’t really a hundred percent human? You might laugh about his, but this is a fact. In fact, our body is really just 10% of a human. Why? This is because the bacteria which lives in the body are more numerous than the body cells. In fact, it is in the ratio of 10 to 1.
The bacteria in our body usually lives in the mouth, nose, or in the skin. However, the majority of which lives in the gut. Most primarily, these bacteria are found in the hidden areas, like the intestine. Actually, there are approximately 500 different species of bacteria that live in the intestine alone. To sum it all up, there are approximately 100 trillion in just the stomach alone. Some people call these bacteria in the gut, gut flora.
Actually, this isn’t a bad thing at all. There is a beneficial mutual relationship between us humans and those bacteria in our body. The bacteria in our body helps in taking care of some things that our body cannot do on its own. In return, our body provides shelter to the bacteria and for them to have a safe habitat.
Maybe you’re going to ask, what does that information have to do with dietary fiber? Well, I’ll tell you… like any other organisms in the world, we are into, the bacteria also need to eat. They also need to get the ample energy they need to survive and do its function.
But there is a problem. The major numbers of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins get absorbed into the bloodstream even before they reach the large intestine. That’s why there might be no food for the bacteria in the gut unless we intake foods that are rich in fiber. Since our body doesn't have any enzymes to digest all the fibers that we consume, it goes through the large intestine. Therefore, the gut flora has something to eat.
This is why fiber is very important for the overall health. They feed the ‘good’ bacteria in the intestine, which functions as prebiotics in our body. Furthermore, in this way, it increases the levels of ‘good’ bacteria in our body. Which will eventually give a positive effect on our health?
The ‘good’ bacteria produces nutrients inside the body, including the short-chain fatty acids like propionate, butyrate, and acetate. These fatty acids are beneficial in feeding the cells in our colon, which leads to the reduction of inflammation in the stomach. Moreover, it also helps in the improvement of some digestive disorders like Chron’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
When all the bacteria ferment the consumed fiber, it also produces gas. This is the main reason why diets that are rich in fiber can cause stomach discomfort and flatulence. However, this normally goes away as the body adjusts to it.
Amazing Health Benefits of Fiber
The health benefits of fiber cannot be exaggerated, not unless you have reached your daily requirement constantly for a month or so. You can’t just imagine how amazing you will feel. Do you need extra reasons to eat more fiber? Here are some of the largest ones:
#1. Keeps the Cholesterol Level Down
Fiber helps in blocking the harmful cholesterol in entering our bloodstream. In this way, the nutrient helps our cholesterol level to go down. Precisely, the soluble fiber is the one that is responsible in this process. Soluble just means that it is soaked up into the body unlike the insoluble, which just remain undigested all throughout its trip into the body.
High cholesterol level is, in fact, a sign of a much larger problem of heart disease. This will make you think that you should keep an eye on your health and get a regular checkup. If it happens that your doctor told you to watch on your cholesterol level, you might as well consume more fiber-rich foods.
To benefit from this the best source of fiber is oatmeal. Oatmeal is rich in fiber and is especially good at drenching up cholesterol and beating it out of the body. To get extra soluble fiber in your meal, try to incorporate some fruits to your oatmeal.
#2. Helps in Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Consuming the proper amount of fiber every day contributes in the right maintaining of a healthy weight. If you don’t get enough fiber, it might cause you to store an excessive amount of body waste that might leave you vulnerable to harmful toxins.
Being obese or overweight may lead to a higher risk of various conditions or illnesses. Fiber helps you in avoiding all these diseases by giving you an ideal weight. Combining high intake of fiber and balanced diet with proper exercise will lead to a natural weight loss.
The best sources of fiber in this certain benefit are actually anything that is rich in fiber. This is to meet all the necessary nutritional requirements needed in having a healthy weight. Vegetables and fruits help provide the right amount of vitamins you need each day. Furthermore, beans and nuts, on the other hand, will also help in giving you all the important minerals needed by your body.
#3. Steadies the Blood Sugar Levels
The sudden rise in the blood sugar may cause you to feel foggy and exhausted. This may be caused by eating an improperly balanced carb-laden meal. However, if you add a food that’s rich in fiber, you can ease the feeling all day long.
Maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar is very important because it helps you in preventing the risk of diabetes. However, it also helps you in keeping the body’s weight healthy. Furthermore, it also means that your body will be alert and more focused all day. Having a steady level of blood sugar means protection against foggy headedness and fatigue.
The best sources of fiber in this certain benefit are beans. Beans are believed to have the best source of fiber which may help in making the blood sugar level stable. The beans are being digested by the body slowly, so it will keep you feeling full for hours. Furthermore, it also provides various fiber to make you get closer to the daily requirement. Additionally, beans are also a good source of minerals that our body needs to replenish every day.
#4. Helps you Stay Regular
Making you stay regular maybe is the most common health benefit in consuming dietary fibers. When I say “Keep you stay regular”, it means you will have a fewer occurrence of both diarrhea and constipation. Fiber helps in keeping your stools smooth, soft, and supple to avert constipation and bulk them all up to prevent the risk of diarrhea.
Our body needs to stay regular because it helps in facilitating the eradication of harmful toxins. If you have an inactive digestive system, it might cause you risk in re-absorbing the harmful toxins that your body should release. If you consume the proper amount of fiber each day, you’ll be able to keep it humming.
The best sources of fiber in this certain benefit are actually any foods especially those that are rich in fiber. However, you must avoid those products that are in the store and are labeled as if they are really rich in fiber. Yes, it might give you the fiber your body needs, but it isn’t the optimal way I getting the right fiber needs.
#5. Helps in Keeping the Colon Healthy
The cornerstone to the overall wellbeing is having a healthy colon, and it also has some benefits to some other systems in the body. Defiantly, when the colon is blocked and is not functioning properly, other systems or areas in the body might surface as well.
You will not be able to have a healthy colon if you don’t get enough fiber over the long term. Ultimately, the increasing effect of inadequate fiber may take its toll and may cause you to lose the efficiency of the colon. This may cause to various complications like constipation, hemorrhoids, IBS, and others.
The best sources of fiber in this certain benefit are any food that contains soluble and insoluble fiber to keep your digestive tract healthy and clean. Most vegetables and fruits may contain some of the insoluble and soluble fibers. This will make your colon much healthier than it used to be.
#6. Helps Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Maintaining a healthy heart must be your number 1 priority. And to achieve this, you need to get enough fiber. This is because fiber is rich in some antioxidants that are beneficial for the heart health.
The best sources of fiber in this certain benefit are nuts. Research says that nuts are good for the heart. Furthermore, nuts help in reducing the risk of various heart diseases. It does not only contain fiber, it also helps in lowering the triglycerides in the body. Additionally, it is believed to have a direct link in avoiding heart disease.
#7. Helps in Reducing the Risk of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids as professionals state is a sudden condition that is very painful and intense. It can be caused by or degraded by toughened stools. These hardened or toughened stools are caused by the lack of fibers in the body. Furthermore, these might cause strain in going and spending longer on the toilet relieving yourself.
If you have experienced any symptoms of hemorrhoids, you might want to never feel it again. Luckily, you can get rid of this sudden condition in a natural way. Yes, you can do it. You just need to it foods that are rich in fiber. On the other hand, if you haven’t experienced it yet, it’s good that you eat plenty of fiber-rich foods to add ample amount of fiber in your body which will help in preventing the risk of hemorrhoids.
#8. Makes the Gut Bacteria much Healthier
As stated above, having a healthy gut bacteria gives an amazing effect in our health. To be able to have a healthy gut bacteria, you must eat plenty of fiber-rich foods, since as I’ve stated earlier, these go through the intestines (gut) and feeds the bacteria in it.
In a certain study, they found out that eating a fiber-rich diet contributes to a higher level of short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids help in reducing the inflammation, which is known to cause some chronic problems and obesity.
#9. Helps in preventing the risk of Certain Cancer
10 percent reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer may happen when you consume 10 grams of fiber every day. Furthermore, additional 5 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer. How? This is because fiber-rich foods contain phytochemicals and antioxidants which are proven to reduce the risk of cancer.
So, in order to prevent the possible risk of cancer, you must eat the proper daily amount of fiber. This will not just make your health on top condition, but also aids you to live much longer and much healthier.
#10. Gives you a Healthier Bones
Some variants of soluble fibers are rich in bioavailability of minerals like calcium. This is beneficial in having not just a healthy but also a stronger bone density. You can get this benefit in foods like leeks, soybeans, asparagus, oats, and wheat.
All the above-mentioned health benefits of fibers are actually just a few of the many benefits of it. However, these are all proven and you’ll never go wrong with it so just trust me, and trust your fiber-rich diet to improve the level of your health.
Tips on Adding Fiber in your Diet
So, we have already known what dietary fiber is, why it is significant, and its health benefits. Now, we are going to know how to incorporate it into our daily diet. Let’s go!
So, depending on your gender or age, health experts recommend you to consume approximately 21-38 grams of fiber a day. This is for the optimal health. The study suggests that most of us people are not eating even half of that amount.
Hitting the daily target of fiber may seem overpowering at first. However, if you love consuming whole wheat, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you might get the right amount of fiber your body needs to start gaining the necessary health benefits outlined above.
Here are some tips that you can use in adding fiber into your diet plan:
Now that you have read all the necessary information and amazing health benefits of dietary fiber, I would love to know what you think of it. Knowing all the astonishing health benefits of the compound, why don’t you try it? I’m telling you, you will not only improve the quality of your but will also help you to age wonderfully.
Fiber is everywhere; you can buy it in the supermarket, in your local store, in your local market, anywhere. Moreover, it comes in various types, may it be an oatmeal, whole grain product, fruits or vegetables, and it will give you the best of fiber has to offer. However, you should also bear in mind that when purchasing, get only the best quality. I advise that if you want to get the best health benefits of fiber, choose the fresh ones, the unprocessed one because they do have more nutrients in them and will give the best expectations.
Actually, fiber played a crucial role in my part, since I’ve gone to some illnesses. However, the good thing is, I discovered the power of fiber in improving my condition. You should try it too!
Did you learn a lot from this article? Just let me know. Leave your comments and suggestions below. Thank you!