There are plenty of reasons you need more fiber in your diet. Fiber might be something your mom or grandma rants and raves about, but getting enough fiber in your diet is actually important for everyone. Fiber helps the body in numerous ways ranging from cardiovascular health, digestive health, and even preventing you from getting diabetes. Check out these seven reasons you need more fiber in your diet.
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
Did you know that one of the best reasons you need more fiber in your diet is to lower your blood pressure? Fiber has been known to help with heart health, which is why many cardiologists recommend their patients to eat plenty of whole grains. Add more fiber to your diet and you could potentially see a drop in your high blood pressure.
2. Reduces Chance of Heart Attack and Stroke
Fiber doesn’t just have a positive effect on your blood pressure—regular fiber consumption reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke significantly. The thought is that fiber helps lower your cholesterol levels, which is the fatty substance that leads to clogged blood vessels. Eat fiber and you could extend your life considerably.
3. Improves Blood Sugar Control
Regular fiber consumption is also good for diabetics, pre-diabetics, and those who are watching their blood sugar. Foods high in fiber slow down the rate at which they are absorbed, meaning your blood sugar will be less likely to spike. As a result, even blood sugar levels usually lead to better weight control and a decreased chance of developing diabetes.
4. Better Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
One of the immediate benefits of increasing your fiber intake is the improvement in your digestion. Often the cause of an upset stomach or chronic stomach pain is a lack of fiber in the diet. Adequate fiber can also help improve nutrient absorption, meaning your body will become better at breaking down various healthy foods and converting them into energy.
5. Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer
Fiber has long been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. Colon cancer is currently one of the most common cancers in the United States for both men and women. Many cancer patients learn that a healthy diet is the key to maintaining their longevity and staying cancer-free. Adding fiber to your diet helps remove waste from your colon, thereby lowering the odds that you’ll develop colon cancer.
6. Potential Weight Loss
One of the added benefits of including fiber in your diet is weight loss! Numerous studies have shown that a diet high in fiber can lead to permanent weight loss. Some great sources of fiber for weight loss are whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. Fresh fruits and raw, leafy greens are also fantastic sources of fiber that are also nutritious. Add these foods into your diet gradually to increase your fiber intake over time.
7. Feeling Full on Fewer Calories
If you’ve recently reduced the amount of calories you’re eating in a day, fiber can help offset the temporary hunger pangs you feel on your new diet. Try pacing out your fiber intake throughout the day to avoid any ‘uncomfortable digestive episodes.’ A little fiber at breakfast, lunch, and dinner will help you feel full on fewer calories when losing weight.
Fiber is definitely part of any healthy diet. Whether you’re watching calories, carbs, gluten, or even keeping kosher, a diet with plenty of fiber is almost always a smart move. What are some of your favorite fibrous foods?