There is the popular saying that encourages an individual to eat more fiber due to its nutritional and health benefits to the body. However, this often-missing component of one’s diet has a lot to be praised for and the reasons are not far-fetched. Here’s why: Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though, most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules called glucose; fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, rather it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
Fiber come in two varieties, which are beneficial to the health of human, they are: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can help lower glucose level and reduce lower blood cholesterol. Foods with soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples and blueberries, among others. Insoluble Fiber are those that do not dissolve in water, but can help food move through the digestive system by promoting regularity and helping to prevent constipation. Example of foods with insoluble fibers include wheat products, legumes, walnuts, seeds and fruits with edible skins like pear and apples.
The amount of fibre needed in a meal per day in individuals vary. While children and adults need at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day for good health, men below the age of 50 need at least, 38 grams while those above 50 needs 30 grams in their meals, similarly, women below the age of 50 need at least 25 grams while those above need 21 grams in their meal. So, what are the benefits of fiber? Benefits of fiber to the human body are numerous and it plays significant role to the overall wellbeing of an average human being. The following are some of the benefits of fiber to the human body: Fibers have been said to help lower the risk of developing various unpleasant conditions, such as heart diseases, diabetes, diverticular disease, constipation, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
It is also beneficial to the gut microbiome by producing anti-inflammatory effects that alleviate the chronic inflammation associated with various health condition. In addition to the above, fiber helps with weight management and it also helps to normalise bowel movements by softening stool. Soluble fiber also absorbs water, which may help those dealing with watery stools. According to dietitians, frequent consumption of fiber in one’s diet has proven to help with longevity and general weight loss. When one eats food that contains soluble fiber, it helps to support healthy blood cholesterol levels, prevents and regulates blood pressure, since it is associated with nutrients such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Hence, don’t forget to incorporate soluble and insoluble fiber into your diet!