“Do or Do Not. There is No Try.”
Soluble and insoluble fiber are the two forms found in many of the food sources that you eat.
Soluble fiber is digestible and stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria and fatty acids required for the colon.
Some common foods that contain soluble fiber are:
- Sweet potatoes
On the contrary, insoluble fiber is indigestible, but it’s essential for cellular regeneration and repair for intestinal health.
Below are some food examples that contain insoluble fiber.
- Brown rice
- Green beans
- Skins of fruits such as plums, kiwis, tomatoes, and grapes
How Fiber Can Fight Cancer and Diseases
Besides aiding in bowel movements, fiber can also decrease the risk of mouth and throat cancer according to a research done by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Switzerland.
Atherosclerosis is a disease caused by the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries that pump blood to the heart.
When there’s a complete blockage preventing blood from reaching the heart, a heart attack occurs.
Preventing heart disease is a huge concern because it’s the leading cause of death in the United States.
Increasing fiber intake daily by 10 grams correlated to a 14% decrease in risk of all heart disease and a 27% decrease in risk of death caused by heart disease according to a research analysis of 10 studies by the University of Minnesota.
Additionally, a Harvard University study also supported similar findings.
This is also supported by a six-year study that consisted of 43,757 men showing an increase in fiber intake associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.
Moreover, consuming more fiber also resulted in a decrease in total LDL (bad) cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease.
How Fiber Can Fight Against Type Two Diabetes
Chronic high blood sugar levels caused by insufficient insulin production or inability for cells to use insulin properly cause type 2 diabetes.
The risk for type 2 diabetes increases when fiber consumption is low while that of simple carbohydrates is high.
However, you can reduce the risk by increasing your fiber consumption to improve your body’s ability to use insulin and regulate blood sugar levels.
Other Powerful Benefits of Fiber
Metabolic syndrome comprises of disorders such as obesity (especially in the abdomen area), high blood pressure, high insulin levels, high levels of triglycerides (fat particles), and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Metabolic syndrome causes many problems including higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Fiber and magnesium were primarily responsible for the reduced risk of developing the metabolic syndrome according to a study conducted by Tuft University.
Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, prevent weight gain, promote weight loss, and improved blood sugar level were shown in other research studies.
Fiber also fights against colon disorder such as diverticulitis, an intestinal inflammation.
This is a concern if you’re over the age of 45.
An adequate amount of fiber consumption, especially the insoluble form, corresponded to a reduction in the risk of diverticulitis according to a Harvard University study that consisted of 43881 men.
How Much Fiber You Want to Eat Daily
You should eat about 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories eaten according to the Institute of Medicine.
Don’t be too concerned about the actual amount of fiber you should eat every day.
Rather focus on the quality of food you eat.
You will get plenty of fiber if you eat:
- Raw vegetables
- Whole fruits
- Whole-grain complex carbohydrates
- Legume, beans, nuts, and seeds
Try your best to avoid any processed foods despite the high fiber content shown on their “healthy” labels.
The scientific evidence is clear for supporting adequate fiber consumption to live a long and healthy life.
The health benefits range from reducing the risk of cancer to an improved bowel movement.
Although insoluble fiber doesn’t count as calories because it “passes” through the body, it’s a key fuel source for a healthy gut microbiome.
To reap the benefits of fiber, slowly add in whole raw foods that are rich in fiber into your meals.
Have fun and experiment with different foods to see what you like the most.
Create your own “staple” list of fiber-rich foods that you look forward to eating!
It’s these small changes that form habits over time, which makes the biggest difference in the future!
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