Fiber has a diverse role to play starting from improved laxation, and lowering cardiovascular disease risk, weight management, etc. Due to drastic lifestyle changes overall and adopting the processed foods trend, has minimized the fiber level in our meals to bare minimum.
Let’s have a look at how fibers have a role to play in our health:
Role in bowel health
More amount of fiber in our diet makes the stool bulky which is due to presence of fiber and absorbed water. This leads to easy defecation and hence acts as a natural laxative. Presence of enough fiber in our diet is therefore looked up in condition such as constipation.
Controlling sugar level:
One of the simplest connections between fiber and sugar level is that high fiber food causes slow release of glucose into the bloodstream and hence doesn’t shoot up the glucose level instantly.
There are number of studies which concludes that including more fiber in diet regulates the blood sugar levels. Hence diabetic person should always opt for high fiber food rather than refined stuff. Not just in diabetes, one can proactively start with high fiber meal right away as a preventive action against diabetes.
Healthy body weight :
The satiety center in our brain gets activated after 20 minutes. So when you are eating fast you tend to eat more without any extra requirement. High fiber meals consume more time as it has to be chewed thoroughly to be able to gulp it. Hence the brain has enough time to activate the satiety centre. At the same time high fiber meals is energy dense but, low in fat which also contributes in maintaining healthy body weight.
Soluble fiber absorbs the cholesterol in the intestine which is eliminated in the stools and thereby makes it unavailable for the body. Apart from cholesterol lowering effect of fiber, it is also found to prevent hypertension and therefore also associated with lowering the risk of hypertension problems such as atherosclerosis, strokes etc.
Fiber also acts as a prebiotic which helps in developing a healthy gut microflora in the intestine which contributes to the immune function. Some studies also says that there is more resistance to infection in individual with consuming high fiber meals.
As fiber plays such a diverse role in our health, there’s a need to look for fiber in our meals and make deliberate positive changes to add high fiber food in our diet like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans etc.