11 Important Health Benefits of Fiber

The benefits of fiber can’t be overstated, and until you have met your daily requirement consistently for a month or longer, you just can’t imagine how great you’ll feel. If you need some additional reasons to eat more fiber each day, here are some of the biggest ones.

See how fiber benefits your body, mind and overall health…

1. Keeps Cholesterol Down

Fiber helps your cholesterol levels by blocking harmful cholesterol from making it into the bloodstream. Specifically it’s the soluble fiber that does the most work in this department.

Soluble means it’s soaked up by the body rather than insoluble, which remains undigested during its trip through the body.

High cholesterol is a precursor to the larger problem of heart disease. That makes it something you’ll definitely want to keep your eye on, and get checked regularly. If your doctor has told you to watch your cholesterol, they probably asked you to up your fiber if you have been running low.

Best Sources of Fiber for This Benefit: Oatmeal is a wonderful source of fiber that is especially good at soaking up cholesterol and whisking it out of the body. Add some fruit to your oatmeal and you’ll be getting even more soluble fiber. Recommended fruit: Strawberries, Blueberries, and Apples.

2. Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight

Eating the right amount of fiber each day contributes to your quest of maintaining a healthy weight. Not getting enough fiber causes you to store excess body waste and leaves you susceptible to toxic build-up, while making you less likely to have that get-up-and-go that leads to exercise and other activities.

Being overweight or obese leaves you at a higher risk for a number of conditions and diseases. Fiber can help you avoid these maladies by putting you at the ideal weight for you. When you combine a higher fiber intake with a balanced diet and exercise weight loss comes naturally.

Best Sources of Fiber for This Benefit: Eat a wide variety of foods that contain fiber in order to meet all of your nutritional requirements for a healthy weight. Fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins you need each day, and beans and nuts will help you get all of the important minerals needed.

3. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels

Spikes in your blood sugar level can leave you feeling foggy and fatigued. It can occur from eating a carb-laden meal that isn’t properly balanced. Adding a high-fiber food that is also a healthy carbohydrate can go a long way towards feeling great all day.

fiber stabalizes your blood sugar

Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important as it helps you prevent diabetes, but also keeps you at a healthy weight. It also means you’ll be alert and focused throughout the day, with steady blood sugar levels instead of spikes that lead to fatigue and foggy headedness.

Best Sources of Fiber for This Benefit: Beans are the best source of fiber to help keep blood sugar levels stable. They are digested slowly by the body, will keep you full for several hours, and provide plenty of fiber to get you closer to your daily requirement. They’re also full of important minerals the body needs replenished each day.

4. Keeps You Regular

The most common benefit experienced by taking in the needed amount of fiber each day is that you’ll stay regular. This means you’ll have fewer instances of both constipation and diarrhea. Fiber helps keep your stools soft malleable to prevent constipation, and bulks them up to prevent diarrhea.

Your body needs to stay regular because it facilitates the removal of harmful toxins. A sluggish digestive system leaves you at risk of re-absorbing toxins that the body is trying to release. Help keep it humming along by taking in the right amount of fiber for you each day.

Best Sources of Fiber for This Benefit: Any and all fiber will help keep you regular, but avoid products in the store that are labeled as being high in fiber. Often this is synthetic fiber and not natural fiber like the kind found in fruits and vegetables. It’s nice to think that we can get half the day’s fiber from one fiber bar, but that’s not the optimal way to meet your fiber needs.

5. Helps Keep Your Bowels and Colon Healthy

colon healthA healthy colon is the cornerstone to overall wellbeing, and has trickle-down benefits to many other systems of the body. Contrarily, when it’s clogged and dysfunctional, evidence of the dysfunction will surface in in other areas as well.

You just can’t have a healthy colon without getting enough fiber over the long term. Eventually the cumulative effect of insufficient fiber will take its toll, and you’ll lose some efficiency of the colon, causing complications of all types, like constipation, IBS, hemorrhoids, and others.

Best Sources of Fiber for This Benefit: You’ll want to get both insoluble and soluble fiber in order to keep your digestive tract clean and healthy. Most fruits and vegetables will contain some of both of types, and are the best source of fiber you can take in for these benefits.

6. Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease

Keeping your heart healthy should be priority one, and getting enough fiber should be near the top of your list of healthy heart

Best Sources of Fiber for This Benefit: Nuts may be the best way to go for lowering your risk of heart disease. Not only do they contain fiber, but they’re helpful in lowering triglycerides in the body, and have been directly linked to helping to avoid heart disease.

7. Lowers Your Risk of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can be a painful and intense condition, and can be caused by or worsened by hardened stools caused by a lack of fiber. Straining to go and spending longer on the toilet than would otherwise be necessary are two contributing factors when it comes to hemorrhoids.

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