Fiber is known as a non-digestible carbohydrate a plant-based food like grains, fruits, and cruciferous vegetables. Fiber offers different health benefits from aiding digestion to lowering the chance of acquiring a chronic disease. Each type has a different effect on health, so it helps to note the different kinds of fiber. While some varieties have healthful benefits, others are unusable. Fiber is divided into two major categories according to its water solubilities, such as soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble dissolves in water and is processed by the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends men consume 38 grams of fiber each day while women should take 25 grams to maximize fiber’s benefits.
This article explores the advantages of keeping a high fiber diet.
1. Fiber feeds the good bacteria
Whether you like it or not, bacteria can thrive all over your body. They are found in your nose, mouth, and skin, and most of them thrive in your gut. Gut bacteria are also called gut flora. Having them in your intestines is not a bad thing. Your body is in a mutual relationship with bacteria. Your body serves as the bacteria’s shelter and food, while bacteria are responsible for some of the tasks that your body cannot handle alone. Some bacteria are essential for keeping a healthy weight, brain, immune system, and blood sugar level. A high fiber diet will feed these good bacteria, allowing them to continue their functions. The macros: protein, fats, and carbohydrates are easily absorbed into the bloodstream before arriving at the large intestine, leaving little food for the gut flora. It is why fiber is important as your body cannot digest it, so it arrives at the large intestine. Bacteria in your gut can digest these fibers and serves as food for the good bacteria.
2. Fiber can aid weight loss
Foods rich in dietary fiber often come in low calories. There are specific types of fiber that aid weight loss by decreasing your appetite. Fiber can boost feelings of fullness by slowing the absorption of nutrients. It is possible since fiber soaks up water in the intestine. Specific soluble fiber can have significant effects on weight, while some types do not affect at all. Glucomannan is an example of an effective fiber supplement meant for losing weight.
3. Fiber can lower cholesterol
Research suggests that viscous, soluble fiber can minimize cholesterol levels. It is vital to note that the viscosity of the fiber affects its effectiveness in reducing cholesterol. Some studies show that high fiber consumption leads to a reduction in cholesterol.
4. Fiber helps improve constipation
Reduced constipation is one of the significant advantages of increasing fiber intake. Insoluble fiber promotes a smoother bowel movement by attracting water into the stool, softening them, and easing their passage through your intestine. Evidence regarding the aid of fiber in constipation is conflicting because eating some types of fiber improves constipation symptoms while removing some types of fiber from one’s diet can also aid constipation. The effects of fiber in the digestive tract vary according to the type of fiber. At large, the fiber that raises the stool’s water content has a laxative effect. Soluble fibers can be an effective laxative because it forms a gel in the digestive tract. Psyllium is an excellent example of a gel-forming fiber.
5. Fiber might minimize the risk of colorectal cancer
Cancer of the colon and rectum is known as the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. In various studies, consuming fiber-rich foods is associated with a lowered risk of colon cancer. Researchers claim that since fiber maintains the colon wall’s health, this can play a role in preventing colorectal cancer.
Although there are pieces of evidence of the good effects of fiber-rich foods in fighting off cancer, high-fiber foods such as whole grain, fruits, and vegetables contain their nutrients and antioxidants that also have effects on cancer. It is difficult to relate the anti-cancer properties of fiber on fiber alone. There is a need for thorough studies in humans to find out its effect on overall health.