The health benefits of Fiber includes promoting weight loss, tackling inflammation, preventing type 2 diabetes, relieving constipation, supporting digestion, regulating blood sugar, supporting heart health, preventing cancer, decreasing mortality rates, fighting asthma, and preventing food allergies.
What is Fiber?
Fiber is a form of carbohydrate. It does not break down easily during digestion. Even though it doesn’t get broken down into sugar molecules, dietary fiber still does a lot of work. This indigestible part of plant-based foods helps regulate digestion, weight, blood sugar and even cholesterol.
The recommended daily amount suggested for men 50 and younger is 38 grams while people who are older should take up to 30 grams. Women aged 50 or less is advised to take 23 grams of it daily, and the older ones should take 21 grams. There are two types of fiber. The soluble fiber turns to gel inside our bodies while the insoluble one retains its shape. They both have benefits as well.
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Fiber
1. Helps in Weight Loss
Studies have proven that people, who consume more soluble fiber while trying to lose weight, lose it faster than those who do not consume it. The reason behind it is simple. Soluble fiber takes longer to chew which makes our body feel like we are eating more. As a result, we eat less and feel full.
2. Tackles Inflammation
Inflammation is the cause of many diseases. By reducing inflammation, you can even reduce the increase of cholesterol. Inflammation occurs due to many reasons such as a leaky gut, imbalanced gut flora, obesity and cholesterol in your arteries. Fiber takes care of inflammation by tackling all these problems.
3. Prevents Type II Diabetes
One huge cause of type-2 diabetes is a diet low in fiber. The low-fiber food we eat may cause a sudden increase in blood sugar levels and may lead to diabetes in the long run. In a study conducted at Harvard, the researchers concluded that a diet light in cereal fiber has a link with lowered risk of developing type II diabetes.
4. Gets Rid of Constipation
One of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in the US is constipation. It can very easily be tackled by increasing the amount of fiber in your diet. It not only relieves the problem but also prevents it. Experts recommend fruits more than vegetables as a source of fiber. They also advise not to take a lot all of a sudden as fiber absorbs water. Try to drink more water to avoid water deficiency in your body after having a lot of fiber.
5. Good for Digestion
Fiber helps maintain colorectal health by regulating the digestive system. It cleans out the digestive tract and gets rid of constipation. It can make stool bulkier and softer which makes it easier to pass.
6. Heart Health
Maintaining your cholesterol levels is necessary for keeping your heart healthy. You can avoid stroke and other heart diseases by including some fiber in your diet. Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels by improving digestion because the digestive system needs cholesterol to create its bile acid. As the digestion improves, the liver extracts cholesterol from the body to create bile acid, which in turn lowers bad LDL. The whole process improves our heart health
7. Regulates Blood Sugar
Research has proved that fiber can lower the blood glucose levels in our bodies. The research also showed that it could decrease the levels of HbA1c, which is glycated hemoglobin. Glycated Hemoglobin forms when the proteins in our blood mix with hemoglobin. The formation of this compound can increase the risk of diabetes.
8. Prevents Cancer
There is no proof that fiber can prevent colorectal cancer, but certain studies have found positive results. It appeared in a study published in British Journal of Medicine that fiber in cereal and whole grain could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. In a recent study done on animals, it was evident that the ability of the fiber to prevent cancer depends on a person’s gut bacteria.
The study showed that fiber reacts with the bacteria in our lower colon and produces butyrate, which can make the cancer cells self-destruct. It depends on the level of butyrate-producing bacteria in a person’s body. Some people have more of it while others have less.
9. Decrease Mortality Rates
In a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, it was clear that fiber might have the ability to decrease the risk of mortality. Scientists believe that it can help us live longer. Another recent study revealed that the fiber from whole grain bread, pasta or cereal is particularly effective. The study found that for 14 years, the people who consumed the most coral fiber had reduced risk of mortality by 19 percent as compared to those who consumed the least.
10. Fights Asthma
Asthmatic Inflammation occurs when the unwanted particles from the gut escape through the bloodstream and affect the autoimmune response. In a study conducted on animals in 2013, the researchers discovered that the mice that ate a diet rich in fiber were less likely to develop the autoimmune response which causes asthma compared to the mice that consumed a low fiber diet.
11. Prevents Food Allergies
Recent researches suggest that fiber may play an important role in preventing food allergies. It also depends on the relationship between the bacteria present in our gut and the fiber that we consume. Theoretically, people who develop food allergies do so because their body is not producing the right gut bacteria. Foods that commonly cause allergies like peanuts or shellfish do so because the lack of right bacteria in the gut allows particles from these foods to enter our bloodstream. It has become evident that fiber aids in producing clostridia, which is a bacterium that makes sure that the gut is secure.
Fiber is a very useful addition to our diet even when it does not dissolve into our system. It works by regulating cholesterol and blood sugar levels and makes sure that our body functions normally. The key is to consume it in the right amount and eat excessively. Lastly, do not forget to inform your healthcare provider before using anything for medicinal reasons.