Take a guess. There is a nutrient that is exceptionally good for your health and well-being that provides more healing and preventative benefits than mom’s chicken soup. What is it? It goes by the name of fiber. Fiber is not a single food or substance. It is the nutrient found in high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain products.
Fiber can be grouped into two categories: Water insoluble and water soluble. Each type works differently and provides different health benefits. Insoluble fibers, such as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignan, do not dissolve in liquids or water. Examples of insoluble fiber are whole grain breads and cereals and vegetables. Soluble fibers, such as gum and pectin, do dissolve in water. It helps leaves the stomach more slowly. Foods like seeds, fruits, and nuts are considered soluble.
Fiber has no calories because the body cannot absorb it. It is the nondigestable remnant of complex carbohydrates found in plants. It passes through your system mostly intact. It’s what keeps you “regular”.
Fiber works greatly in weight control. One reason is that it provides satisfying bulk that makes you feel full longer due to its ability to absorb water. Eating between meals is lessened. It also helps with weight control because it pushes food through your system faster, therefore less calories and fats are absorbed.
When you make the change to a whole-grain diet, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how naturally you prefer the organic, textural goodness of whole grain foods to the bland, unwholesome processed foods you used to eat.
Fiber is not the cure all for weight control. When adding fiber to your diet, you can avoid bloating and gas by slowly buliding your daily intake. Fibrous foods draw water from the intestines. Unless you drink water with your fiber, the fiber will not bulk up in your colon to create easy bowel movements. Think of fiber as a sponge. Fiber without water is as helpful as a dry sponge. Drink one glass of water with your meal, and another after you eat.
People who follow high fiber diets not only lose weight, but are more likely to eat less red meat, drink less alcohol, smoke less and get regular exercise. All of these healthy behaviors can reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.
Fiber-rich food is typically low in calories, fat, and added sugars. All these factors help create a dietary plan for a healthy lifestyle that can easily prevent or shed unwanted pounds. Choose the high fiber way for a smooth, easy ride to health.