Everyone always says to add fiber to your diet, but why? What actually is fiber? There are two main kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
According to the Mayo Clinic, soluble fiber dissolves in water and can help lower cholesterol and glucose levels. It can be found in foods such as oats, beans, peas, apples, citrus fruits, carrots and more.
Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of waste materials in your digestive systems. This benefits everyone, especially those that deal with constipation or irregular stools. It can be found in foods such as whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, buts, beans, vegetables and more.
Is it worth it to incorporate fiber into your diet? Here are some of the benefits it has:
- It normalizes your bowel movements
- Helps you maintain bowel health by decreasing your risk of colon diseases
- Helps lower your cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure and inflammation
- Helps control and regulate your blood sugar level which can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Helps you maintain and lose weight since foods with fiber tend to be more filling
- Helps you live longer and is associated with reducing the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases and cancers
Men aged 50 or younger should have 38 grams of fiber everyday. Men 51 or older should have 30 grams of fiber every day. Women 50 or younger should have 25 grams of fiber every day and women 51 or older should have 21 grams every day.
Research has shown that eating high fiber foods is better than taking supplements, although some people have seen the best results when doing both. Some high fiber foods are:
- Seeds (chia, pumpkin, sunflower and flax)
- Sweet potatoes