The benefits of a healthy, high fiber diet cannot be overstated. Foods rich in dietary fiber provide a number of health benefits, most notably assistance in the passage of leftover food-waste from your body.
Fibrous foods are very filling, unlike empty calorie foods. This ends up being somewhat of a natural discouragement from over eating. The full feeling is created by insoluble fiber that cannot be fully broken down by the human body. This also helps to keep the colon and small intestines functioning properly.
Soluble fiber is the other type of dietary fiber. Soluble fiber can be readily broken down by the body’s digestive system. Its biggest health benefits stem from its ability to enter the bloodstream after being digested.
Much in the same way that insoluble fiber helps to clean the lower digestive tract, soluble fiber helps clean the circulatory system. It has been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol levels and to regulate blood sugar levels. This can significantly lower the odds of developing type 2 diabetes.
How Can Get More Fiber in My Diet?
Adding beneficial fiber to your diet is an easy step to improve your health. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, and legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and peanuts, are all readily available and inexpensive. All you have to do is eat them on a regular basis.
A good tip for busy people who often give into the convenience of “fast” or pre-packaged foods is to snack on fresh produce. Not only does this make it easier to work more fiber into your diet, it will also help you avoid filling up on empty calories. Most fiber rich foods also travel well without refrigeration and it’s easy to toss them in your purse or day bag for later use.
More Than Just Digestion
In addition to improving your digestive and circulatory heath, foods that are naturally rich in fiber are often loaded with nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals that your body might be lacking. Making just a few small changes to your diet can have a huge impact on how you feel each day.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
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