Eating fiber-rich food is an important element when it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fiber is commonly found in vegetables, whole grains, fruits and legumes. Food sources that have always been associated with numerous health benefits.
Fiber from plant-based foods, also known as roughage is something that the body can’t easily breakdown. It passes through the body undigested keeping the digestive system clean and healthy. This is why it is perfect for preventing and relieving constipation. It helps improve bowel movements as well as flush cholesterol and harmful carcinogens out of the body. Fiber also helps lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Two Types of Dietary Fiber
- Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that easily dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. This type of fiber can be found in nuts, beans, peas, and oats. Soluble fiber also helps in weight loss because it is not easily digested staying in the stomach much longer. This in turn makes you feel full for longer periods of time after eating.
- Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of material through the digestive system and increases stool bulk. This can help individuals suffering from constipation and irregular stool movement. Insoluble fiber can be found in wheat cereals, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and whole grains.
Health Benefits of a Fiber Rich Diet
- Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels – soluble fiber lower blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein or commonly known as bad cholesterol.
- Regulate Blood Sugar Levels – eating soluble fiber slows down the absorption of sugar and improves blood sugar levels. It regulates glucose levels by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
- Normalizes Bowel Movements – fiber increases the bulk of stool and facilitates its passage through the intestine more quickly. It adds more water to the stool making it softer and easier to eliminate. For those with loose and watery stools, fiber can also help solidify stool.
- Helps in Weight Loss – fiber rich foods are more filling which makes you feel fuller and eat less.
- Reduces Risk for Certain Cancers – fiber has anti-cancer effects that help reduce the risk for colorectal and breast cancer. It’s is also rich in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals that helps reduce overall risks for cancer.
- Healthier Gut Bacteria – fiber rich foods support the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Fiber which passes through the small intestine undigested are fermented by flora in the large intestine for food.
- Healthier Bones – fiber helps increase the absorption of minerals like calcium.
- All-natural Detox – high fiber diets naturally scrub and help eliminate toxins. It also soaks up potentially harmful compounds like unhealthy fats and excess estrogen before it can be absorbed by the body.