While much is often made of the great benefit that vitamins and minerals contribute to our overall health, it seems that we sometimes overlook the role that fiber can play in helping us obtain optimal wellness. Unfortunately, most Americans are not consuming adequate amounts of fiber at this point. Yet by learning more about all of the great benefits that result from eating fiber, you may find yourself more likely to reach for fiber-rich foods. Here are three benefits of eating fiber:
1. It Normalizes Our Bowel Movements.
As MayoClinic notes in reviewing the health benefits of fiber, dietary fiber “increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it.” This is important because bulky stools pass through our systems more easily than those that are not. This works to decrease the incidence of constipation. Additionally, individuals who have loose, watery stools are helped by fiber because it can help solidify the stool by adding bulk and absorbing water.
2. It Lowers Cholesterol Levels.
Foods rich in soluble fiber can play a role in lowering your total blood cholesterol levels by decreasing low-density lipoprotein (which is also referred to as “bad cholesterol.”) There are a plethora of fiber-rich foods you can choose from, including beans, flaxseed, oats, and oat bran. If you’re not a fan of eating fiber in its traditional form, you can make yourself a smoothie. I do this almost every day with bananas and several other fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
3. It Helps You Attain A Healthy Weight.
Foods high in fiber can contribute to healthy weight maintenance in several ways. Firstly, they require more chewing time. This helps your mind and body send you signals indicating that you are full, which means eating fiber helps preclude you from overeating. Additionally, fiber is very filling, meaning that you are likely to attain feelings of fullness after eating relatively small amounts of foods that contain it.
If you are interested in optimizing health, recognizing the role that fiber consumption can play in facilitating this process is important. By consuming fiber-rich foods, you can prevent constipation, lower cholesterol levels and help yourself maintain a healthy weight. These are just a few of the benefits that result from eating fiber. Together, they will all enable you lead a healthier life and thus help you become a more productive and positive person. Good luck!