I know we have talked about fiber before, but the bottom line is this: your need for fiber will never go away.
Here are four basic benefits of eating enough fiber that you might have not thought about:
- Reduces Inflammation: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical a Nutrition found that c-reactive protein (CRP) – a marker of inflammation and a predictor of future heart disease and diabetes – was inversely related to dietary fiber. As fiber consumption goes up, harmful inflammation goes down.
- Promotes a Healthy Weight: Not only does soluble fiber prevent the absorption of fat, but it also helps you to feel full longer. Appetite is reduced directly by the bulk of the fiber and indirectly through the delayed emptying of the stomach and the release of brain and gastrointestinal-tract hormones which signal satiety.Less hunger means fewer calories… and therefore fewer pounds. Researchers have calculated that if Americans doubled their fiber intake, they could cut 100 calories from their diet a day – which equates to 10 pounds of yearly weight gain!
- Improves Gastrointestinal Health: Soluble fiber is the favorite “food” of the healthy bacteria that live in your digestive tract. And a healthy tummy is a happy tummy! Soluble fiber can help improve digestion, enhance nutrient absorption and provide significant relief of IBS symptoms.
- Improves Blood Sugar Balance: Soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing their digestion and absorption and aiding in blood sugar balance. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that a high-sugar, low-fiber diet more than doubles women’s risk of Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.
Bottom line: fiber helps us lose weight, maintain our ideal weight and healthy cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart attack and developing diabetes, promotes bowel regularity and is a natural way to reduce the body’s absorption of fat and sugar. So go ahead, eat those whole grains, beans, vegetable and fruits!