Fiber plays an essential role in your digestive system so it’s of no surprise that getting enough fiber in your daily diet would lead to numerous benefits. However, most Americans still don’t get nearly enough fiber. According to Mayo clinic, adults need 20 to 30 grams or more of fiber a day but most American don’t even get close to 15 grams daily. Read on to learn what benefits you could be receiving by getting enough fiber in your daily diet and a few simple tips to incorporate more fiber into your diet.
1. Avoid Constipation
Avoiding constipation and keeping you regular is the most well known benefit of fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool, helping the stool pass quickly and easily through your intestines. This also helps reduce bloating and gas, and prevent hemorrhoids.
2. Boost Your Immune System
Fiber feeds the probiotics, also known as good bacteria, that live in your gut. These probiotics help you body fight attacks from bad bacteria keeping you healthy. By feeding these probiotics, fiber makes them strong hence strengthening your immune system.
3. Lowers Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
38% of all deaths in the United States are caused by cardiovascular disease. But a 2017 review of studies found that something as simple as increasing your daily fiber could help combat cardiovascular disease. In this study the National University of Health Sciences found that consuming high amounts of dietary fiber can significantly reduce the incidence and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Dietary fiber was seen in these studies to lower ldl cholesterol (the bad type of cholesterol) which greatly contributes to the onset of cardiovascular disease.
4. Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
In people with diabetes, fiber-particularly soluble fiber- slows the absorption of sugar which helps improve blood sugar levels. Another study by EPIC-InterAct also found that diets rich in fiber can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
5. Help You Keep A Healthy Weight
High fiber foods tend to be more filling and keep you full longer. When you have a diet rich in fiber you are more likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer leading to less cravings and snacking. High fiber foods tend to be less energy dense as well, meaning they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. This all help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
6. Lowers Risk Of Colorectal Cancer
In 2011, the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute of Cancer Research reported that colorectal cancer risk was reduced in those that diets consist of high fiber intake. Researchers believe this decreased risk may be a result of fiber diluting fecal carcinogens, fiber causing reduced transit time of fecal matter, and/or the bacterial fermentation of fiber having anti-carcinogenic properties.
If you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet try incorporating high fiber foods such as
- whole grain products
- Low fat popcorn
- Fruits (whole fruits not fruit juices)
- Legumes (such as beans and peas)
- Nuts and seeds
Although getting your fiber through food is best, fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Citrucel, and FiberCon are better than nothing if you aren’t able to get enough daily fiber in your diet.
If you’re having issues with colon or gut health give us a call. Our experienced colon hydrotherapists and naturopathic doctors will be able to walk you through your issues and keep your digestive system as healthy as possible. Give us a call at 703-436-1512 or fill out our online contact form.