Benefits of Fiber
You may think that fiber is only for an older population, yet this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Fiber is actually a very necessary nutrient for the proper functioning of your digestive system. Fiber isn’t part of what we classify as a source of calories, because it doesn’t actually get digested by us. It does, however, help to keep us regular and feed our gut bacteria.
You can get fiber from your food, but it can also come from a supplement.
The right amount of fiber being consumed can benefit digestion, gut health, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
Let’s look more into the benefits of fiber.
Benefits for Digestion
When you eat food, sometimes it needs a little help pushing through. Things can get stuck in either part of the intestines and colon. There are two types of fiber. One is soluble and one is insoluble. The insoluble fiber is what you would typically think of as “roughage”. It helps to push things along. If you become constipated, you would want to consume foods that are high in insoluble fiber. This typically includes most vegetables.
The soluble fiber helps to give “bulk” to your food. This slows down the digestive process, which is great for people who are having troubles going all the time. It also improves how smoothly your food makes it through the digestive system.
Both are great for benefitting the digestive tract. You truly need a good balance in both forms for a healthy digestive system. This would involve consuming a balance of soluble fiber (bananas, some fruits, oats, barley) and insoluble fiber (whole wheat, bran, green beans, broccoli, nuts).
Benefits for Gut Health
There are millions of tiny bacteria in our guts that live alongside us in harmony. They release chemicals that we need and help to break down food in the gut. In return, they get a food source. One of the main sources of food for your gut bacteria is fiber. Both forms of fiber can be fed on by these microbes to be happy and healthy. However, when you don’t consume enough fiber, they can’t operate properly. This can affect digestion, metabolism, and even your mood.
If you want to benefit from a healthy gut, then you’re going to need the right amount of fiber.
Benefits for Cholesterol
Cholesterol levels can cause a ton of issues for people. Too high of cholesterol can actually lead to heart disease and increase the risk for heart attack. However, you may be able to lower your cholesterol by consuming adequate fiber. Fiber plays a role in transporting cholesterol where it needs to go, this way it doesn’t get stuck in the arteries. This can especially be seen with soluble fiber in one’s diet.
Benefits for Blood Sugar
When you consume sugars, they get absorbed into the blood. You don’t want this to happen too fast though. When it does, the body can’t keep up and you’ll have a massive spike in your blood sugar levels. This can cause issues such as fatigue, headache, and more.
However, if you are consuming the right amounts of fiber, especially with your meals, it can slow the uptake of sugar. This slowing of uptake makes almost a trickling effect with the absorption of the sugar. At this slower rate, it is much healthier for the body.
While eating enough fiber is great, it can be tough. This is why some people will supplement their fiber intake. Often times this just comes in the form of a powder. It can contain multiple forms of fiber, yet it will mostly come as the soluble form.
Most of these supplements will even come as a combination with other complimentary nutrients. This is the case with Fiber Plus from 1UP Nutrition. This particular supplement has vitamin C and Probiotics. The combination present here can help to improve digestion, promote weight loss, keep hunger at bay, support healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and supports a healthy immune system.
Supplementing your fiber intake can pack a powerful punch for your health. Especially when you take the right stuff.
Now, you should also be including vegetables into your diet as well. Your fiber intake should be a mix of real food and supplementation.
How Much Do You Need?
The next question is obviously how much you need? It varies between men and women, with men needing 38 grams a day and women needing 25 grams a day. The amount needed can also vary due to other factors such as how much you are eating and physical activity.
If you were to consume too much fiber, it could also cause you issues such as bloating, diarrhea or even constipation. So, it’s smart to hit it right there where it’s recommended.
There’s a ton of benefits to fiber. It really is necessary for the whole body to work as it needs to. Not having enough or having way too much can cause you issues, so it is important to make fiber intake a priority. You can get it from your food, but also as a supplement.
In addition, you are going to reap the benefits for your digestion, gut health, cholesterol levels, and even your blood sugar levels. All of which are priceless when it comes to your overall health.