Fiber Fights Many Evils

(c) Brigitte Synesael

Fiber accomplishes many beneficial tasks not the least of which includes supporting the digestive system. As research and studies continue it is clear that you can only benefit your health by consuming a high fiber diet. Fiber has been shown in studies to help reduce the rates of some forms of cancer, namely colon and breast cancer. Certain kinds of fiber have been found to lower levels of cholesterol in the blood.

These are only a few of the major benefits of a high fiber diet. There are many less noticeable advantages, such as encouraging healthy skin and nails, increased energy, helpful with weight control, etc. A number of foods are good sources of fiber, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. 

There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Your body requires both kinds. Both types of fiber can be partially digested by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. 

Insoluble fiber helps move food and digestive by-products through the large intestine (colon) and out of the body. 

The faster that food and by-products travel through the digestive tract, the less time there is for potential cancer-causing substances to work. Insoluble fiber is the bran in grains, the pulp of fruit, and the skin of vegetables. 

Only soluble fiber appears to have the ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Soluble fiber can be found in a wide variety of foods, including apples, oats, guar gum, dried beans, and green vegetables.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has recommended that adults consume 20-30 grams of fiber daily. According to numerous surveys conducted by the NCI, the average intakes of dietary fiber for adults was 12-14 grams. This is an indication that a large portion of the U.S. population did not meet the NCI minimum standards for dietary fiber intake on the day prior to their examination. 

Sources:

  • National Center for Health Statistics - Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Phase 1 
  • AMA - American Medical Association, Nutritional Basics

Author Profile: Brigitte Synesael founded Your Life-Your Choice in 1997, and is now recognized as an authority on Alternative Medicine Information. Her associations with governing agencies and certified practitioners ensure well researched, quality information. Her latest release "You've Got Nothing To Lose But POUNDS!" was inspired by her outrage at society taking advantage of a frustrated, overweight population. It is always assumed that overweight people eat too much, and in many cases, that is simply NOT TRUE. This well researched book gives you more than 10 factors in your life that could be responsible for your weight problem besides overeating.

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