Health Benefits of Fiber
Fiber is an indigestible portion of plants that can be advantageous when taken in moderate quantities, it’s advisable for adults to take at least 30 to 50gms of this substance every day for perfect health. The strain of fiber you consume is also important, those found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans are much better than the ones present in bran muffins, cereal or any other wheat-based products. In good fiber, bacteria found inside the gut metabolizes the soluble compound resulting in numerous gains to the body. Check out 6 health benefits of fiber below.
1. Controls Blood Sugar
Glucose is processed directly from carbohydrate foods and is the main source of energy for our bodies. However, when in excess glucose can damage your pancreas making it unable to release insulin hormone which balances blood sugar levels. Fiber slows down the pace at which food passes through your digestive tract upon consumption, which consequently keeps blood sugar levels in check while eliminating toxins from the gut as well. If you suffer from diabetes, adding some little bit of fiber into your diet can help bring back insulin levels to normal. Note that when blood glucose remains high for a significant amount of time it can damage various organs in the body such as eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can be tested using the C-peptide exam which is accurate in most cases.
2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
There are two types of fibers that scientists have categorized as soluble and insoluble. The first one is found in fleshy fruits such as apples and pears, it helps a lot in balancing HDL, while the other is more useful in digestion. Studies show that soluble fiber has more or less the same effects as cholesterol-lowering ‘statin’ drug, where it blocks uptake of saturated fats or any other dangerous types of fats that may cause heart problems. Moreover, since such foods tend to be lower in lipids and more fulfilling than other types of foods that don’t have fiber, it means you are more likely to abide by a healthy diet plan and achieve great weight as well.
3. Cures Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids is a medical condition characterized by swollen and inflamed varicose veins around the rectum, it’s estimated that 70-80% of all people around the world suffer from this disease. The disorder is caused by strained bowel movements, lack of exercise and increased pressure on the arteries during pregnancy and delivery. While they aren’t usually dangerous hemorrhoids can still cause discomfort, bleeding and itchiness.
Since dietary fiber cannot be digested by enzymes and is therefore not assimilated into the bloodstream, it remains inside the colon where it absorbs moisture and softens stool hence preventing indigestion. In addition, most of these foods contain mild bowel tonics which exert more benefits to the gut. Likewise, the dietary fiber present in this food increases bulk, softens fecal matter and shortens transit time for stool hence diminishing the risk of developing hemorrhoids. Additionally, some strains of fiber feed friendly bacteria found inside the intestines, helping them create a unique short-chain fatty acid known as butyric acid. This helps maintain a healthy bowel and prevents buildup of varicose veins.
4. Relieves Constipation
It has been proven that insoluble fiber increases bulk of fecal material, hence fastening its passage through the gut and preventing constipation. The most effective way of getting more of this compound in your diet plan is through food intake, though there are still fiber supplements that can be bought from drugstores. High-fiber foods are loaded with minerals and vitamins but low in fats/calories, taking them on a regular basis will also boost your intake of other essential nutrients needed by the body. Some of the meals to consider include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, oranges, apples and berries.
You can also avoid constipation by going ‘half and half,’ which simply means replacing half of your entire white flour serving with whole-grain flour when baking. Moreover, if you opt for fiber supplements take plenty of water as well. This will help keep the gastrointestinal system running smoothly for maximum health.
5. Promotes Better Skin Tone
Fiber, especially psyllium husk, helps move yeast and fungus away from the body hence preventing them from getting excreted through the dermis where they could potentially cause rashes or acne. The presence of this element in your diet guarantees that the system gets ample time to absorb nutrients needed for generation of collagen. It also restores skin glow by contributing towards better hormonal imbalance, thus preventing dryness and flaking that may otherwise come from accumulated toxins. Fiber-rich diet facilitates the kidneys and liver to expel waste products from your body faster hence promoting skin glow, and also keeping breakouts at bay. Such breakouts usually manifest on the face, back and arms. Presence of ample fiber in your diet allows for better digestion of keratin protein which not only promotes better skin, but hair growth as well.
6. Prevents Stroke
According to clinical studies, dietary fiber has the capacity to reduce the risk of stroke and hypertension caused by LDL or low-density lipoprotein. Commonly known as ‘bad cholesterol.’ Ischemic stroke occurs when blood clot blocks free flow of oxygen into the brain, whereas hemorrhagic stroke is when the vein leaks blood directly onto the brain surface.
Scientists found that for every 7gms more of fiber that we consume daily, the risk of developing first-time stroke also goes down by 7%. This portion is equivalent to 2 servings of fruit or vegetables. Apart from taking adequate amounts of dietary fiber per day, it’s also advisable to get plenty of exercise and avoid cigarette smoking to further minimize the risk of developing stroke.
In conclusion, fiber can be helpful in weight management since it’s low-calorie and contains very negligible fats and cholesterol. This prevents gaining of extra pounds that can lead to obesity. Additionally, soluble fiber changes into a gel-like matter that hordes food inside your stomach for extended periods of time. Something that in turn regulates appetite and aids in better weight management. As much as fiber is helpful to the body, it should best be consumed in moderate quantities for effects to be felt.
Hopefully this article on the health benefits of fiber was helpful. If so, feel free to leave comments below!