Fiber is a nutrient found in a wide variety of plant-based foods, from fruits and vegetables to whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. You can even consume fiber through a supplement if you aren’t getting enough from your food and drink choices. Fiber plays many roles in the body and is considered an essential nutrient, meaning you must consume it as your body is not able to produce fiber on its own. Here’s how high fiber foods can benefits your health.
This is likely one of the more familiar fiber benefits. Fiber helps to add bulk to your stool, helping it process through your intestines more efficiently, aiding in digestive regularity. This benefit is largely attributed to insoluble fiber, which is the roughage in food that does not dissolve in liquid. Since it does not dissolve, it aids in the accumulation of stool and quick passage through your digestive tract. This helps to offset constipation, and the complications that could arise form irregular bowel movements. Insoluble fiber is plentiful in food and is especially high in whole grains, like oats, wheat, barley, and quinoa, as well as beans and lentils.
The other form of fiber, soluble fiber, possesses its own health benefits, including improving blood cholesterol values. Studies have found soluble fiber can reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol values are too high in the blood, this serves as a risk factor for heart disease. Soluble fiber is found in some of the same foods as insoluble fiber, including oats, beans, and barley. It is frequently consumed through supplemental sources, too. Both forms are fiber are valuable for your health, and both should be consumed on a daily basis.
Fiber also has a high satiety value, meaning it helps you feel full following a meal. This may reduce overeating and promote smaller portion sizes, which could result in weight loss over time. Both forms of fiber aid in satiety, which is another reason why you should consume a variety of fiber-containing foods each day. Adult men and women should aim to consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day. It is important to drink fluid regularly throughout to day to aid your body in processing fiber. With a wide variety of benefits, fiber is an important nutrient for your health and should be present at each meal.
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