Fiber Health Benefits: Why You Need It And Tips For Getting It, So You Can Enjoy Health, Instead Suffering Unnecessarily
Fiber health benefits …. You have heard about fiber but still have a few questions, right? Wouldn’t it be great to have a “straight to the point” article that gave you all that you really need to know about fiber? Well here you are. This article will give you the what, why, and how of fiber. Fiber is a very important part of healthy eating habits. Enjoy.
What is fiber? According to article.mercola.com, fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods. The two types of fiber are soluble fiber and insoluble. The soluble fiber dissolves into a gel-like texture and helps to slow down your digestion. This helps you feel full longer. The insoluble fiber does not dissolve and helps to add bulk to your stool and helps food to move through your digestive track for healthy elimination.
Why do I need fiber? According to nutritionmd.org and article.mercola.com, here is a partial list of the benefits or reasons for making sure you get enough fiber in your diet:
– Helps to control your blood sugar (i.e., diabetes) and cholesterol levels
– Helps to avoid heart attacks and strokes
– Helps with weight loss and management
– Helps with skin health
– Helps to avoid diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, kidney stones, and hemorrhoids
– Helps normalize bowel movements and bowel health
Tips Regarding Fiber Health Benefits
1. Know how much you need. In reviewing article.mercola.com, mayoclinic.org, and nutritionmd.org, the numbers range from as low as 21 grams of fiber for women over the age of 50 to as much as 40 grams a day for both genders. Given that many Americans don’t even get 10 grams a day, I aim for 20 grams a day and experiment between 20 and 40 grams a day. Gender, age, and your body’s ability to handle the fiber with undue bloating would help you determine what is best for you. Make sure you drink plenty of water.
2. Plan to include soluble fiber in your diet. Soluble fiber is found in the following foods: cucumbers, blueberries, beans, nuts, seeds, oats, peas, apples, citrus fruits, and psyllium (supplements may be recommended by a doctor). Many plant based foods have both soluble and insoluble fiber but in varying amounts.
3. Plan to include insoluble fiber in your diet. Insoluble fiber is found in the following foods: dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, carrots, whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, cauliflower, broccoli, brown rice, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, and sweet potatoes.
4. Be careful with grains. According to article.mercola.com, you should limit or avoid even whole grains, especially if you have problems digesting them (e.g., bloating among other issues). The article takes issue with the USDA’s recommendation. Perhaps the best thing for you to do is to experiment and see how your body responds to digesting whole grains and how it responds to a very limited amount or the elimination of the food category.
5. Work on including beans. If you are not used to eating beans, they can lead to painful bloating or gas. To help lessen your bloating, nutritionmd.org recommends the following:
– Start with modest servings.
– Some people notice that smaller beans are easier to digest, so try black beans, black–eyed peas, and lentils, and work your way up to pinto, kidney, and fava beans.
– After soaking dried beans, drain them, and then cook them in fresh water. It may also help to add a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water.
– Always make sure beans are thoroughly cooked. Even some brands of canned beans need more cooking before they are thoroughly cooked.
– Drain and gently rinse canned beans. This also decreases the amount of salt in beans that were packed with sodium.
So, there you have it – the what, why, and how of fiber. Now that you know, it is time to use the information to help improve or maintain your health.
The following sources were consulted in writing this article and are recommended for further study: