Getting enough fiber in your diet is vital, and it has numerous proven and potential health benefits. Fiber prevents and remedies constipation, hemorrhoids, and other digestive disorders such as diverticulosis. It has also been shown to aid in the lowering of high cholesterol. There is even some evidence to suggest that a high fiber diet can reduce the risk of certain types of cancers, such as colon cancer.
In addition to fiber’s general health benefits, eating a diet high in fiber can be especially beneficial if you are trying to lose weight. Fiber contains no calories, but because it absorbs water, eating it leads to a quicker feeling of fullness, helping you to ultimately eat less and feel satisfied longer.
Incorporating fiber in your daily diet is easy to do. Dietary fiber comes from an inexhaustible amount of food sources, all of them plant-based.
High fiber foods:
- whole grains
Animal product (meat, eggs, cheese) has no fiber at all. By increasing the amount of plant-based foods in your diet, your will increase your dietary fiber intake, and begin to notice a change immediately.
- Men: it is recommended that they get approximately 38 grams of fiber per day (30 grams if over 50)/li>
- Women: the reccommendation is 25 grams of fiber per day (21 if over 50).
In order to maintain the fiber content in the foods you eat, it is important to not remove the skins, hulls, or seeds from them. This will reduce their fiber content and make them less effective. It is also important to consider decreasing the amount of processed foods that you eat. In addition to often having little to no health benefit, they are usually low in fiber content as well.
It might be difficult for you to suddenly change your eating habits entirely in order to incorporate more fiber into your diet. Or, you might not be thrilled with the idea of eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. You can start by taking fiber supplements. These come in pill form, or even a tasteless powder that can be added to water or juice.
While getting a lot of fiber in your diet is important, it is also important to remember to eat a balanced diet, and no to concentrate only on your fiber intake. Just as not getting enough fiber can harm you, taking in too much fiber can also be detrimental. Too much fiber can prevent calcium, iron, zinc, and other vital minerals from being absorbed out of the foods you eat and into your body.
The benefits of a diet high in fiber are plentiful. In order to keep your digestive system running smoothly, lose and maintain a healthy weight, and prevent life threatening illnesses, eating a diet high in fiber is the sensible thing to do.