Has your doctor ever told you to EAT MORE FIBER? If so, join the club. Your doctor may also recommend increasing your water intake. The two go together. Nutritionists recommend that men eat 38 grams and women eat 25 grams of fiber daily. Yes, you can you crunch your way to good health. The research shows that adequate fiber intake improves your digestion and reduces your risk of chronic diseases. These are the eight AMAZING benefits of adding fiber to your diet:
- Fiber can reduce your blood sugar and risk for diabetes – Highly processed foods have generally been stripped of most of their fiber, but foods high in soluble fiber such as oats, beans, apples, barley, psyllium, carrots, and citrus fruits generally slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels.
- Fiber may help prevent heart disease – Soluble fiber may help to lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering LDL or bad cholesterol levels. In addition, studies have shown that high-fiber foods may also reduce blood pressure and inflammation. For every 7 grams of daily fiber, your risk of heart disease drops by nine percent.
- Fiber feeds your good gut bacteria and improves your gut microbiome – The good bacteria in your gut feed off the fiber that has fermented in your G.I. tract and promote the growth of these good bacteria, which has many positive benefits on our health. Benefits include reduced gut inflammation and improvements in digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Fiber supports intestinal, liver and gall bladder health – According to Dr. Peter Osborne, “Fiber stimulates bile production which supports intestinal, liver, and gall bladder health. This same bile also serves as a toxin binder in the intestines.”
- Fiber helps prevent constipation and reduces toxins – Fiber actually makes your poop softer and bulkier which both aid in moving the waster from your body in a timely manner. Fats and toxins actually attach to the fiber for safe removal. Soluble fiber soaks up potentially harmful compounds and chemicals such as excess estrogen (important for estrogen-fed breast cancer patients), unhealthy fats, pesticides and BPA before they can be absorbed into the body. And in the insoluble fiber speeds up the removal time to lessen your exposure to these compounds.
- Fiber reduces your risk of colon and breast cancers – According to research, fiber lowers your risk for colon cancer and for breast cancer. No wonder so many doctors recommend fiber to their patients!
- Fiber increases your chances of living longer – Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate a high-fiber diet on a regular basis have a reduced risk of dying from many chronic diseases.
- Fiber may help you to lose weight – Foods rich in fiber tend to fill us up and keep us satisfied longer, and also prevent your body from absorbing some calories. Why? According to Tanya Zuckerbrot, dietician and author of The F-Factor Diet, “Fiber binds with fat and sugar molecules as they travel through your digestive tract, which reduces the calories you get.”
Imagine being able to lower your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, reducing toxins, improving digestion, and reducing excess weight with just one nutrient! Are you now convinced you can crunch your way to longevity and good health? I am. And this is why your doctors are constantly nagging you about eating fiber! These eight AMAZING benefits of adding fiber to your diet are reason enough to add many plant-based foods to your health plan. Make sure you get a variety of fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. And in our home, our daily smoothie enriched with flax seeds, low carb fruits and greens greatly helps us to reach our daily-recommended amount of fiber.
What benefits have you found from eating fiber? And what are your favorite foods that provide the fiber you need? Next week, we’ll look at ways to add more fiber to your diet.
For Your health,