Fiber is commonly divided into two types,soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is usually found in fruits, vegetables, wheat, and oats. Insoluble fiber tends to exit the body largely unchanged, and is found in foods like seeds, nuts, and celery. Consumption of both soluble and insoluble fiber is vital to a healthy diet. While you may have heard of the importance of a high fiber diet for colon health, there are many other health benefits.
For people with heart disease or elevated cholesterol, fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of possible cardiac events. In fact, a study from The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, noted that women consuming higher fiber diets have a decreased risk of heart attacks, and coronary artery disease, compared to similar women who consume less fiber.
Health Benefits of Fiber
Blood sugar control: Soluble fiber may help to slow your body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, helping with blood sugar control. Heart health: An inverse association has been found between fiber intake and heart attack, and research shows that those eating a high-fiber diet have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease. Stroke: Researchers have found that for every seven-grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by 7 percent. Weight loss and management: Fiber supplements have been shown to enhance weight loss among obese people, likely because fiber increases feelings of fullness. Skin health: Fiber, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes. Diverticulitis: Dietary fiber (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of polyps in your intestine – by 40 percent. Hemorrhoids: A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of hemorrhoids. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Fiber may provide some relief from IBS. Gallstones and kidney stones: A high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.
Aim to get fiber from whole foods, rather than processed foods that claim they have added fiber added. Try adding a few of the following foods and your body will thank you.
Brown rice, oatmeal
Chia and Flax Seeds
Apples, Pears, Mango
Black Beans, Red Beans, Garbanzo Beans