High Fiber Diet and Our Health

Dietary fiber offers many health benefits. Most of us know its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. Constipation is the major cause of Hemorrhoids. Therefore, eating a high fiber diet is the best Hemorrhoids Cure. Actually fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as lowering our risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Types of fiber

There are types of fiber.

Insoluble fiber
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water . It promotes regular bowel movements and helps prevent constipation. It also helps to prevent colon cancer by assisting the movement of toxic waste through the colon faster to detoxify the body.
Food sources for insoluble fiber include vegetables, good examples are dark green leafy vegetables, fruit and vegetable skins, nuts and seeds, wheat bran and whole grains.

Soluble fiber
Soluble fiber dissolves in water. It can help regulate blood sugar, reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease and lower total cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol ).
Food sources for soluble fiber include dried beans and peas, oats, oat bran, vegetables and fruits.

The amount of each type of fiber varies in different plant foods. In order to have a healthy balanced diet, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

Benefits of a high-fiber diet

A high-fiber diet has many benefits on our health.

Improve bowel movements and health
A high-fiber diet can lower our risk of developing constipation and/ or hemorrhoids by helps normal bowel movements.

Helps reduce or maintain weight
When the fiber we eat gets to our stomach, it absorbs a lot of the liquid and expands, making us feel more full on less food. In addition, dietary fiber can be partly digestible or completely indigestible, which is different with refined carbohydrates. Therefore, fiber helps us reduce or maintain weight. In addition, high-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives our body time to register when we are no longer hungry, so we are less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. Fiber is considered as good aids in weight loss.

Helps control blood sugar levels
Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar, which for people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar levels. A diet that includes insoluble fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Lowers blood cholesterol levels
High fiber foods generally contain low contents of fat, especially saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol. Soluble fiber can help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Epidemiologic studies have shown that increased fiber in the diet can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which is also protective to heart health.

How much do we need?

For good health, the National Cancer Institute and American Diabetes Association recommend routine consumption of high fiber foods. They suggest daily dietary fiber intake of 20 – 35 g per day. 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended.

The following are examples of one dietary fiber serving.
Example 1: One fruit /vegetables fiber serving:
• 1 cup of raw salad greens
• ½ cup of cooked vegetables
• 1/2 cup of beans or peas
• a medium-size piece of fruit (orange, banana, pear, apple)
• 1/4 cup of dried fruit
• a small glass (3/4 cup or 6 oz) of 100% fruit or vegetable juice

Example 2: One whole grain fiber serving :
• 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta
• 1 cup cereal
• 1 slice bread
• 1 small muffin (1 ounce)

Best fiber choices

• whole-grain foods
• Fruits
• Vegetables
• legumes
• Nuts and seeds

Nature whole foods rather than fiber supplements are generally better choice. Always check with your doctor if you feel you need to take fiber supplements for health purpose.

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