Do your feel that your stomach is always bloated? Having constipation? Having problem in losing weight? This could be the signal in telling you to increase fiber in your diet.
- Normalize bowel movement
Fiber helps to solidify the stool by absorbing water and adding bulk to it. A bulky stool is easier to pass and be excreted more quickly. Not only that, fiber is normally being digested by the bacteria in our gut and short chain fatty acids will be produced in this process. These substances are beneficial for our body by its anti-inflammatory effect.
- Lower cholesterol, resulting in lower risk of coronary heart disease and colon cancer,
Fiber reduces total and low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (perceived as “bad” cholesterol) which provide us health benefits. Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol and bile acid to reduce reabsorption of these two substances to the body and increase their excretion. Study has shown that increased of fiber intake is able to lower the risk of coronary heart disease. Risk of colon cancer has been associated with increased concentration of bile acid.
- Help in controlling blood sugar and reducing risk of type 2 diabetes
Both fiber rich food and sugary food are carbohydrates which impact individual’s blood sugar level. However, fiber rich food has slower the absorption rate which does not cause a spike in high blood sugar. Hence, diabetic patient is advised to replace sugary food with fiber rich food and low Glycemic Index (GI) food. Study has shown that increase fiber intake may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Aid in achieving healthy weight
Study has shown that increase of fiber intake may help in weight loss by promoting satiation. Fiber stays in stomach longer which provide fullness to prevent individual from overeating.
It is recommended to have 30g fiber intake each day for adults. This is equivalent to 6 apples or 10 oranges. However, most people have difficulty in meeting this recommended intake. With our tips on the next page, getting sufficient fiber per day is achievable. Moreover, individual shall increase fiber gradually and drink a lot of water (around 6-8 glasses per day for adults). Otherwise, if you load up on fiber too fast and don’t drink enough water, you may feel cramp, bloated and constipated.