Fiber, also known as roughage, is the portion of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. But don’t be fooled, it’s still incredibly important. Below, you can learn more about why fiber is so beneficial to your health. We’ve also compiled a great list of high fiber foods that you can enjoy as a part of a balanced diet!
Adds bulk to stool. Once fiber reaches your colon, it helps soften and give bulk to stool. This keeps us from experiencing unpleasant things like diarrhea and constipation. Ultimately, it makes stool easier to pass through your system.
Helps maintain bowel health. Some studies have linked high fiber diets to decreased risk of colorectal cancer. Fiber helps “clean” out unwanted bacteria that has built up in your intestines. Meanwhile, it feeds the healthy kind of bacteria in our intestines, increasing them in number (which have tons of other health promoting characteristics).
Helps control blood sugar levels. When we eat and digest food, it’s ready to be absorbed into our blood (which raises our blood sugar levels). Fiber rich foods help slow the rate of sugar absorption into our blood. This is a great thing, because drastic spikes in blood sugar aren’t very good for our bodies. It’s better to have a slow and steady rise of sugar into our blood after a meal. So the next time you’re snacking on something on the sweeter side, aim to have a source of fiber along with it!
Can lower cholesterol levels. A certain type of fiber (specifically the kind found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran) has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels. To be exact, it targets LDL cholesterol (which is known as the less healthy kind). Other studies have linked high fiber diets to lower blood pressure and decreased inflammation (which are also great for heart health!).
Keeps us feeling full. Because high fiber foods decrease the rate of digestion and absorption of other, digestible foods, they stay in our stomach for longer. This means we reap the benefits of feeling fuller for longer. This is a great thing, because we can stay focused and energized without being interrupted by frequent hunger!
Which Foods Are High in Fiber?
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- And many others!