Why You Should Start Eating More Fiber for a Longer Life & Happier Gut

At this point, there’s enough science out there to strongly suggest something you’ve likely heard before: Eating a robust variety of minimally processed fruits and veggies along with other plant-based foods is a great way to stay healthy and control your weight — and the fiber in these foods is likely a central reason why they’re so great for our bodies.

So go forth and repopulate more varieties of bacteria in your gut!

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Fiber is usually found in whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, which you won’t find in fast food menus and most prepackaged foods.

But you can improve your health and your diet by knowing how fiber benefits your body, how much you need to eat, and how you can get more into your daily meals and snacks.

Whole grains

What’s Fiber?

Fiber is found in plant foods. In most plants, there’s some part of the plant your body can’t digest or absorb. This is called dietary fiber. Because fiber isn’t digested by your body, it passes through your digestive system and out your body relatively “whole.”

The fibres consist of non-starch polysaccharides such as:

• Cellulose

• Dextrin

• Inulin

• Lignin

• Chitin

• Pectin

• Beta-glucan

• Wax

• Oligosaccharide

Types of Fiber

Fibres can be classified as water-soluble and insoluble. Most fibre-containing foods include varying proportions of both soluble and insoluble fiber. However, fruits and vegetables contain the most soluble fibres, and cereals contain the insoluble ones.

Most plant foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel, acting like a sponge in binding cholesterol-rich bile acids, which are then eliminated as waste. It’s a cholesterol-lowering and glucose level lowering type of fiber.

Good sources of water-soluble fiber are:

• Oats, rye, wheat bran

• Lentils, beans, peas

• Nuts, flax seeds

• Apples, oranges, pears, strawberries

• Cucumbers, celery, carrots

• Psyllium husk

On the other hand, insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. Because insoluble fiber is bulky, it helps move your food through your digestive tract. Which helps with constipation or irregular stools. Insoluble fiber aids in digestion by acting like a broom and cleaning out our intestinal tract.

Good sources of water-insoluble fiber are:

• Whole grains and wholegrain products (100% rye bread, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta)

• Brown rice

• Fruit and vegetable peels

• Cellulose

For the greatest health benefits, you should aim to eat a variety of high-fibre foods that include both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber also provides these other stellar health benefits.

Natural Sources of Fiber

Here are a few foods that are naturally high in fiber:

• 1 large pear with skin (7 grams)

• 1 cup fresh raspberries (8 grams)

• ½ medium avocado (5 grams)

• 1-ounce almonds (3.5 grams)

• ½ cup cooked black beans (7.5 grams)

• 3 cups air-popped popcorn (3.6 grams)

• 1 cup cooked pearled barley (6 grams)

Benefits of eating more fiber

1.Keep your digestive tract healthy

If you’ve experienced problems with constipation or irregular (watery) stools, adding more fiber to your diet can help bulk up your stool. Whether your stools are coming out too easily, or not at all, fiber can help. Staying regular is key to digestive health and the best way to ensure regularity is to eat more fiber. Fiber helps food move through the digestive tract. It increases stool bulk and helps prevent constipation and irregularity. Watch out for these easy constipation natural remedies.

Constipation

According to 2017 research published in the journal Nutrients, a high-fiber diet can also help prevent diverticulitis. The painful condition occurs when pouches form in the walls of the colon and become inflamed. The longer the waste sits in the intestinal track, the longer the body is exposed to toxins. And that increases the risk of disease. Waste sitting in our gut can promote bad bacteria to develop, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems.

2.Boost your energy levels

Fiber may not provide calories (aka energy). But it can help give you a lift by improving your digestion and by slowing down the release of glucose into our bloodstream. Fiber slows the sugar dump into the bloodstream, so you won’t have a crazy energy spike after eating. And you won’t bottom out once the carbs are processed. “Refined sugars give you the spike and then you crash.”

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3.Lose weight and maintain a healthy weight

Weight loss

While losing weight and maintaining a weight loss is not easy, adding fiber to your daily diet can help. Fibre is linked to having a lower body weight because whole grains are usually lower in calories than high-fat foods. Fiber calories from high quality, high-fiber foods are also more satiating. They add bulk and slow the digestion process, which makes it more likely for us to lose weight over time.

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4.Lower your cholesterol and risk for cardiovascular disease

When you eat whole foods that contain good amounts of fiber, you’ll feel satisfied for longer. Which means you’ll eat less in the long run and still feel full. Plus, calorie for calorie, you’ll be eating less when you fill up on whole foods like fresh produce or whole grains than if you fill up on other foods. This means to improve your blood cholesterol levels, mainly your “bad” cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity.

5.Drop your risk for type 2 diabetes

Fiber helps to control your blood sugar levels. This is good news if you’re a diabetic.

Diabetes

Soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar. When we add fiber to our diet, our bodies break down carbs more slowly, and this allows our blood sugar levels to rise more gradually. Eating adequate amounts of fiber can also help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Check out these guilt-free diabetic-friendly snacks.

How much fiber do you need?

You’re committed to eating more fiber. But how much do you need?

The American Diabetic Association recommends

• 25 grams for women, or 21 grams if over 50 years old

• 38 grams for men, or 30 grams if over 50

Remember: All things in moderation

Excessive diets high in fiber will cause an uncomfortable feeling of fullness and gas. Therefore, it is necessary for you to maintain a healthy and balanced consumption of fibres.

Increase your fiber intake gradually.

If you take too much, too quickly, you will go from constipation to diarrhoea.

Too much fiber can cause different types of gastrointestinal distress from gas and bloat to constipation to cramping and diarrhea. If you eat one serving of fruit or vegetable daily, increase it to two, then introduce whole grains. Check with your medical professional before you increase your fiber intake. You may want to check out these top alkaline foods .

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

27 responses to “Why You Should Start Eating More Fiber for a Longer Life & Happier Gut”

  1. […] Why you should be Eating More Fibre for a longer life […]

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  2. […] work. What does? A healthy diet of mostly whole foods that grow in the ground and full of healthy filling fiber, immune-boosting antioxidants and energy providing whole grains, plus heart-healthy fats that help […]

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  3. […] Here is how eating fibre is good for your health […]

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  4. […] foods that are very high in salt content. If you aren’t feeling full even after your meals, add more fiber to your diet, which will give you the satiating feeling for long, preventing you from binging into sugary foods […]

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  5. […] makes it a great vegetable to have to prevent kidney disease. High in vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber, cabbage is also a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid. Low in potassium and low in cost, […]

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  6. […] Also read: Why You Should Start Eating More Fibre for a Longer Life & Happier Gut […]

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  7. […] blueberries are packed full of antioxidants and fiber making them a superfood that makes you healthier, more beautiful and best of all, they naturally […]

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  8. […] Why You Should Start Eating More Fibre for a Longer Life & Happier Gut […]

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  9. […] improve our diet, instead choose a healthier option to substitute the white bread with. Again, the high fiber, levels in wholemeal or rye bread make them a better option against white bread. The way wholemeal […]

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  10. […] from brown rice, can yield even better health benefits because brown rice is a rich source of dietary fibre, magnesium, and iron, which can help eliminate many initial disease […]

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  11. […] Why You Should Start Eating More Fiber for a Longer Life & Happier Gut […]

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  12. […] Also read : Eating More Fiber for a Longer Life & Happier Gut […]

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  13. […] for our hearts, but as it turns out, they are also excellent for boosting metabolism. Along with fiber, beans are also the best source of fermentable, soluble fiber that produces short-chain fatty […]

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  14. […] Why You Should Start Eating More Fiber for a Longer Life & Happier Gut […]

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  15. […] Not only tasting delicious figs offer an array of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 and B2, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, copper and manganese. Figs are high in natural sugars, minerals, and soluble fibre. […]

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  16. […] Also read: Why You Should Start Eating More Fibre for a Longer Life & Happier Gut […]

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  17. […] fibre foods or those that have a low glycemic index can be called negative calorie foods. High-fibre foods fulfil two purposes. Our body takes longer to flush out fibre from the body, hence they stay in the body and delay […]

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  18. […] grain, fibre-rich foods like oatmeal are associated with a reduced risk of NAFLD-related diseases. A nutritious diet rich […]

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  19. […] irregular and hard to pass. So, when you don’t enough of it, you can end up constipated. What’s fascinating about fibre is that it aids bowel movements in many different ways, which is why low-fibre diets are always at […]

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  20. […] Fiber seems to play an important role in the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy. The soy with fiber reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol more than twice as much as soy protein alone. […]

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