It has long been known that a diet that is high in fiber is healthy for us, and can offer all sorts of health benefits. The majority of Americans are not eating nearly enough fiber in their diets, and this can cause all sorts of problems in the body. Soluble fiber absorbs water from the body and moves slower through the system, while insoluble fiber does not absorb water and thus moves quicker. Both kinds of fiber offer many benefits, and they can be easily integrated into the average diet.
Here are 4 benefits of a high fiber diet:
1. Can Protect Against Cancer
A diet with plenty of both soluble and insoluble fiber has been recognized to lower the risk of colon and rectal cancer. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, as insoluble fiber moves quicker through the digestive system than soluble fiber, it carries cancer-casing compounds out of the body quicker. Also, a protein that is created during the fermenting process of the fiber in the body has been proven to help counter the production of cancerous cells in the body.
2. Aids Weight Loss
A high fiber diet, along with exercise, can help a lot in your quest to lose weight. Foods high in fiber basically add bulk to your diet, and make you feel full for longer than other foods that have a lower fiber content. Once in the stomach, the fiber swells by absorbing water from the body, and this bulk is what makes you feel full. The full feeling is an obvious help in weight loss as you will be less likely to succumb to snacking between meals.
3. Relieves Constipation
After the fiber has absorbed the water from the body, it swells and forms a thick viscous substance. The fiber is not digested by the body, but rather passes through the digestive system at different rates, depending on if it is soluble or insoluble, until it reaches the bowels. As insoluble fiber absorbs substantially less moisture, it passes quicker through the body. By the time it gets here, it will be ready to be expelled by the body in the form of a large, soft stool that can be a great relief to those suffering from constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar
As the now thick, viscous fiber moves slowly through the digestive system, it in turn slows the bodies release of sugar, as well as the rate of sugar absorption. This is a great regulator of the blood’s sugar levels and can mean you avoid having a blood sugar ‘spike’ or slump that can happen after eating some foods that have a lower fiber content. Practically, this means that you are less likely to reach for a candy bar after eating fiber-rich foods, and you are also less likely to suffer from the ‘low’ feeling after eating one. This is also a great benefit to those suffering from diabetes, as having a stable blood glucose level is going to be a great benefit to the condition.