Fiber is one of those things you often hear you need more of. This is because our standard american diet is often lacking fiber due to the large amount of processed foods consumed by individuals. This can unfortunately lead to a large amount of health concerns down the road if not addressed. As mentioned, most of us know that fiber is incredibly helpful for us, but what actually is it?
Fiber is simply a part of the plant that humans can not digest. There are two types of fiber, both insoluble and soluble, which we won’t get into today. Since fiber is found mainly in plants, it would make sense that the best source of it would come from the plant itself. Vegetetables, specificially, have a large amount of fiber per calorie. Fruit also has fiber in it as well, but not nearly as much as vegetables. Some individuals get their fiber from a supplement like Metamucil. It should be noted that although you can get fiber from supplements, it is strongly recommended to try to get most of your fiber through plant sources. This is because there are a large amount of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that help with your overall health, in addition to the fiber. The really cool thing about fiber is that it does offer some benefits to your health that are independent of the nutrients you would receive when eating a fruit.
Some of these benefits are:
- Improved feeling of fullness.
- Increased regularity and consistently of bowel movements.
- Improvement in overall cardiovascular health.
Now I am sure a lot of you have heard of the first two reasons why eating fiber is good for you. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet will make you feel full much quicker when you are eating. This is a great way to limit overeating on calories which would inevitably lead to gaining fat on your body and increasing your chances of developing obesity related diseases. In addition to this, fiber is known as the pooping nutrient. This is fitting because that is exactly what fiber does in addition to helping with fullness. Fiber helps to add bulk to our bowel movements and not only keep them regular, but also consistent in texture and size. The last thing mentioned, is that increasing fiber in your diet actually helps with your heart health. Yes.. you read that right! Heart health. This is something that isn’t well known about fiber, but is another great reason to improve fiber intake in your diet.
What else is there to say? Fiber is great! As mentioned above, there are a wide variety of ways to increase fiber intake in your body. The best way to do this is through fruits and vegetables is it not only offers you fiber, but the other nutrients associated with it. Next time you look at fiber, remember it is more than a nutrient to help you poop!
For a YouTube video of this topic, click here.
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