We all eat fiber. It’s the thing that makes beans the magical fruit.
Quite simply, fiber is the part of plant-based foods you can’t digest. It’s a big help in keeping your digestive tract moving along nicely.
Consuming ample amounts of this powerhouse staple is essential to your health. Women should have between 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day, while men need 30 to 38 grams daily. That’s a lot of fiber. And unless you’re a horse or you eat fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds all day, it’s a tough target to hit.
Luckily, plenty of fiber products are available to help fill the gap. But if you’re still unsure if a change is worth it, here are five body-loving benefits of adding more fiber to your diet.
Hot Tip: Look for products where the fiber comes from sources like psyllium and organic cane and contain both soluble and insoluble fibers.
1. Helps You Shed a Few LBs
Most of us wouldn’t be mad about dropping a few extra pounds. While diet and exercise are key to losing and maintaining your weight, fiber is a fantastic addition to any mealtime regimen. Because it’s so filling, it keeps you satisfied for longer—helping you kick the snacking habit and reduce your daily caloric intake.
Unlike most diet plans out there, eating the right amount of fiber is sustainable and can help you keep off the weight you worked so hard to lose.
2. Optimizes Your Gut’s Good Bacteria
Your gut is a complex environment with trillions of both good and bad bacteria. And it’s important to support your good bacteria. Not only does it keep your tummy happy, it also helps you maintain a healthy immune system.
Fiber is a great way to give your good bacteria a helping hand. Good gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, which are super helpful in supporting mineral absorption and promoting overall intestinal health. One type of whole grain that is rich in fiber and nutrients is oats. Oat groats are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is essential for good gut health. In addition, they contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that has been shown to promote the growth of good gut bacteria.
Unfortunately, most nutrients are absorbed in the bloodstream, so they’re long gone before they reach your digestive bacteria, which leaves them starving for some grub.
Thankfully, fiber can make it all the way to your intestines intact, bringing a Vegas-style buffet to your good bacteria.
3. Keeps Your Blood Sugar In Check
Healthy blood sugar levels—the amount of glucose in your blood—isn’t always top of mind, but maintaining normal blood sugar levels is optimal for your body’s health.
Foods high in soluble fiber are terrific options for people watching their blood sugar levels. They’re low on the glycemic index—which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber also helps to keep you satiated after a meal, making it easier for you to avoid the carb-filled sugar snacks that shoot your blood sugar levels through the roof.
Most fiber supplements are low glycemic and typically won’t have any negative effects on normal, healthy blood sugar levels.
4. Helps Maintain Normal Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol isn’t all bad. It’s a fat your liver produces and it’s also found in foods you eat. While useful to many of your organs, too much cholesterol can gum up your blood vessels, which may lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Research has shown that soluble fiber can help limit the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines and assist in maintaining healthy low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol levels already in the normal range. msu d2l Soluble fiber may help support a healthy heart.
5. Keeps You on the Reg
Fiber is vital to keep your digestive system healthy. It helps with digesting food smoothly through your intestines, while helping to keep your digestive tract working in tip-top shape.
Bathroom time is an escape from the world—whether it be from work, your kids, or just life in general. It just may be the most “you” time you get all day. Healthy levels of fiber in your diet from a combination of food and supplementation almost guarantees smooth sailing while you’re on the porcelain throne.
Seek Out a Fiber Supplement
Fiber is essential to your health, but taking the recommended amount may be hard through food alone. Adding a fiber supplement to your diet is an easy way to boost your daily fiber intake to reap all the benefits above, and more.
Oh, and one last friendly tip before you go—please consult with your physician before using any supplement or starting a new diet.