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The Importance of Fiber
Soluble and insoluble fiber are the two forms found in many of the food sources.
Digestible and stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria and fatty acids required for the colon, soluble fiber can be found in the following foods:
On the contrary, insoluble fiber is indigestible, but it’s essential for cellular regeneration and repair for intestinal health. Here are some examples.
Skins of fruits such as plums, kiwis, tomatoes, and grapes
How Fiber Can Fight Cancer, Diseases, and Type II Diabetes
Besides aiding in bowel movements, fiber can also decrease the risk of mouth and throat cancer according to research done by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Switzerland.
Since heart disease is a huge concern because it’s the leading cause of death in the United States, preventing it is key.
The cause of atherosclerosis is the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries that pump blood to the heart. And when there’s a complete blockage preventing blood from reaching it, a heart attack occurs.
To decrease that possibility, 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.
Now onto to type 2 diabetes. It is due to chronic high blood sugar levels caused by insufficient insulin production or inability for cells to use insulin properly. The risk increases when fiber consumption is low while that of simple carbohydrates is high. However, you can reduce the chances by increasing your fiber consumption to improve your body’s ability to use insulin and regulate blood sugar levels.
Other Powerful Benefits of Fiber
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 are all disorders of metabolic syndrome. It causes many problems including a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
To mitigate those odds, you can eat fiber and magnesium since they were primarily responsible for the reduced risk of developing metabolic syndrome. In addition, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, prevent weight gain, promote weight loss, and improved blood sugar level was also shown in other studies.
Furthermore, fiber fights against colon disorder such as diverticulitis, an intestinal inflammation. This is backed up by a Harvard University study that consisted of 43881 men corresponding to a reduction in the risk of diverticulitis with an adequate amount of fiber consumption.
How Much Fiber You Want to Eat Daily
Fourteen grams of fiber for every 1000 calories is the appropriate amount according to the Institute of Medicine. However, don’t be too concerned about the actual quantity you should eat every day.
Rather, focus on the quality of the food you eat. You will get plenty of it if you consume the following:
Whole-grain complex carbohydrates
Legume, beans, nuts, and seeds
In addition, 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 vibrant 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 choices to see what you like the most. Create your own “staple” list of fiber-rich selections you look forward to eating.
It’s these small changes that form habits over time, which makes the biggest difference in your life.
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