Fiber is extremely important for your digestive system.

The body’s small intestine can’t break down and extract energy from fibres so instead it is broken down in the colon.  People who eat a lot of fiber can process their food faster compared to those who eat a diet with only a lesser amount of fiber.  This also means that fiber can make you feel full for a longer time and, voilà (!) … you may not need to eat as often as people who eat a less fiber.

Fiber has many other functions as well.  It protects against colon cancer and it extracts fat and the bad (LDL) cholesterol from the blood and removes them from the body.  Moreover, the concentration of lipoproteins reduces and blood pressure may also decrease.

The risk of constipation reduces as stool is softened by fiber.  Furthermore, the healthy bacterial flora, found in the intestines increases in concentration.

The 9 Wonders of Fiber

As discussed above, fiber is a good way to reduce your risk of CHD, but there’s a lot more fiber can do for you. Recent research has brought the following benefits of fiber to light:

  • Blood sugar control:  Soluble fiber can help slow the absorption of sugar in your body, leading to reduced insulin resistance.
  • Heart health:  Eating a diet high in fiber can lower your risk for heart disease by 40 percent.
  • Stroke:  Consuming fiber on a daily basis can lower your risk of stroke by 7 percent.
  • Weight loss management:  Fiber may help in weight loss, as it releases a fatty acid called acetate, which travels to your brain and gives you the signal to stop eating.
  • Skin health:  Fiber helps in keeping your skin clean, as it flushes yeast and fungus out of your body, thereby preventing acne and rashes.
  • Diverticulitis:  Consuming insoluble fiber may reduce intestine inflammation by 40 percent.
  • Hemorrhoids:  In relation to the previous point, fiber may also help in lowering your risk for hemorrhoids.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):  Fiber can also provide relief for people with IBS.
  • Gallstones and kidney stones:  Since fiber has the ability to regulate sugar levels, it may also help reduce the risk of acquiring gallstones and kidney stones.

Maximizing the Goodness of Fiber

There are two forms of fiber:

  • Soluble fiber — Found in cucumbers, blueberries, beans and nuts. Soluble fiber dissolves into a texture similar to gel, slowing down your digestion. This results in you feeling full longer, helping you control your weight.
  • Insoluble fiber — Found in dark green leafy vegetables like celery, green beans and carrots. It does not dissolve and adds bulk to your stool. Insoluble fiber helps digested food move through your digestive tract quicker, resulting in healthy, regular elimination of waste.

It’s recommended to eat approximately 30 grams of fiber every day.

Best Source of Fiber: Organic Fruits and Vegetables

The best and healthiest sources of fiber are from certified organic suppliers when purchasing foods rich in fiber.

If you’re not fond of the aforementioned choices for fiber, here are a few more options that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.

  • Almonds
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts