Why is fiber important?

+98 votes
asked Mar 2, 2015 in Health & Wellness by Cherlyn (820 points)
If we can’t break down fiber in our bodies, what does it do and how does it get out?

1 Answer

+10 votes
answered Mar 6, 2015 by shantae (620 points)
edited Jul 29, 2015 by Morgenstern

Although your body is incapable of digesting fiber, it’s still crucial to your digestion. Soluble fibers are found in food such as berries, vegetables, nuts, and beans. When consumed, this type of fiber softens into a gel texture that helps to slow your digestion. Slower digestion means feeling full longer, which is why fiber can help you to control your weight. Insoluble fiber, which is found in foods like leaf vegetables, carrots, green beans, and celery, doesn’t dissolve at all but helps make your stools more solid. This means that food moves faster through your digestive system. Many healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables are naturally packed with both types of fiber.

Listed below are some of the benefits of fiber:

  • Blood sugar regulation: The body’s carbohydrate breakdown and sugar absorption is slowed by soluble fibers, which can help with blood sugar regulation.
  • Heart health: Fiber consumption and heart attacks have been found to have an inverted relationship, and research has proven that people who eat a lot of fiber have a 40% lower chance of contracting heart disease.
  • Stroke: Research has shown that for every seven grams of fiber consumed per day, the risk of a stroke is lowered by 7%.
  • Weight control: Fiber supplements are proven to augment weight loss, undoubtedly because fiber slows your digestion, enhancing the feeling of being full.
  • Skin health: Fiber can help remove fungus and yeast from your body, which prevents excretion through your skin where they could cause acne or other skin problems.
  • Diverticulitis: Dietary fibers, especially the insoluble kind, can cause a 40% decrease in your risk of diverticulitis- an infection of intestinal polyps.
  • Hemorrhoids: A diet high in fiber can help prevent hemorrhoids.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): If you have IBS, fiber may help relieve some of the symptoms.
  • Gallstones and kidney stones: Because fiber helps regulate blood sugar, a high-fiber diet can help lower the risk of stones developing in the kidneys and gallbladder. 
commented Mar 11, 2015 by mary (410 points)
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