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Fiber is an important component in plant-based foods, which in turn has a lot of positive effects on the human body. Learn the various benefits of a fiber-inclusive diet on your weight, digestion, and cholesterol, and add foods rich in fiber to your diet ASAP!
Essentially, fiber is every kind of carbohydrate that can't be digested in your stomach. In other words, there are carbs that the body obtains from plant-based foods that it can't transform into energy, so they're left to flow through your digestive tract to your colon.
One common misconception is that fiber isn't an important element in your diet because it can't be used to produce energy for the body. This couldn't be more wrong! In fact, fiber has many health benefits that aren't even exclusive to your colon or stomach.
To begin with, a diet rich in fiber can help you reduce and maintain your weight. On one hand, this is due to these foods' lower calorie levels. On the other hand, they're also responsible for slowing the digestive process, which will give you the feeling of being satiated for longer.
As the body takes a longer time to break down these foods, you'll also be able to have better control over your blood sugar levels. Having more power and understanding of them can help you regulate them and achieve more consistent levels, which can be especially necessary if you have diabetes.
The fact that fiber can't be digested in the stomach makes foods rich in fiber a good and natural stimulant to your intestines. This happens because the fiber adds bulk to your digestive tract. For this reason, a diet rich in fiber can help combat constipation and a sluggish digestive process.
When fiber's in the digestive tract, it can prevent the body from absorbing too much cholesterol. This happens naturally, and you can benefit from it especially if you're on cholesterol-lowering medication and fiber supplements.
The recommended amount of fiber consumption every day is 14 grams per 1,000 calories. Essentially, your daily fiber intake should be between 24 and 38 grams, taking the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ estimated fiber recommendations for the average US population.
Many people, however, don't reach these numbers and fall short on their daily fiber consumption. To make up for it, you can start incorporating foods rich in fiber, like avocados, broccoli, bananas, chickpeas, and chia seeds. Incorporate them in your diet gradually, together with lots of water to prevent gas and bloating.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot about fiber and now you understand why it’s so important to include it in your diet!