We all know that our bodies need fiber and even though there are many foods that have fiber added to them, many people still suffer from its deficiency. For example, the new diet that is prevalent in the West today has caused many Americans to face severe fiber deficiency. Experts estimate that only 5% of Americans get enough fiber each day. Foods that are high in fiber make a person resistant to cancer, heart disease, diverticular disease, kidney stones, premenstrual syndrome and obesity and are also beneficial for the health of the digestive system.
Fiber and heart health
Fiber, especially soluble fiber, is an important ingredient in any heart-healthy diet. Eating a high-fiber diet can improve cholesterol levels by lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). High fiber intake can also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Fiber can also help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve HDL (good cholesterol) cholesterol levels, and reduce excess weight around the belly.
Fiber and weight loss
In addition to helping with digestion and preventing constipation, fiber bulks up foods and makes you feel full sooner, which is a key factor in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. Because fiber stays in the stomach longer than other foods, it will keep you feeling full longer, which will help you eat less. Fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables are low in calories, so adding fiber to your diet makes it easier to cut calories.
There are other ways that high fiber intake can help with weight loss:
Fiber, by regulating blood sugar levels, can help maintain the body’s fat-burning capacity and prevent insulin spikes that cause lethargy, fatigue, and unhealthy food cravings.
Eating a lot of fiber can move fat through the digestive system faster so that less of it is absorbed by the body.
When you fill yourself with fiber-rich foods like fruits, you’ll have more energy to exercise.