Helps Curb Bad Cholesterol
Intake of soluble fiber in our diet helps control the re-absorption of cholesterol and bile into the liver. When we do not consume soluble fiber, the cholesterol and bile get reabsorbed into the liver for reuse, which is harmful to our body. It can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, increase the risk of a stroke or a coronary disease, or result in hardening of the arteries.
However, the intake of soluble fiber results in forcing the cholesterol and bile acids to bind in such a way that they are excreted out of the body instead of being absorbed again. This decreases the chances of stroke and coronary diseases.[r54]
Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
Besides helping control the absorption of fats in the body, the consumption of soluble fiber also helps in decreasing the digestion of sugar. This phenomenon is extremely beneficial for people who have type 2 diabetes.[r53] As soluble fiber helps slow down the digestion, it prevents fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. The more dietary fiber they consume, the more controlled their blood glucose levels will be.
Aids in Relieving Digestive Problems
Promotes Gut Health
Bacteria in our stomach and large intestine have a mutually beneficial relationship. They both feed on the food that we consume and in return, guard our stomach from infections and other problems. Carbohydrates, proteins, or any other food components are absorbed in our bloodstream while passing through the small intestine. Thus, dietary fiber is the only source of food that reaches the good gut bacteria and provides them with energy to carry out their functions.[r162]
These bacteria are essential for a healthy body as they help produce nutrients, including fatty acids, such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate. Moreover, the good bacteria in our stomach also produce gases when they process fiber which is why we experience flatulence after consuming a diet that is high in fiber.
Helps With Losing Weight
Helps Relieve Constipation
About 20% of people suffer from constipation every year. Since insoluble fiber passes readily through the digestive tract while binding with water, it is known for alleviating constipation. When insoluble fiber binds with water and reaches the large intestine, it acts on the stool and makes it softer. A softer stool is easier to pass and hence relieves constipation.
Insoluble fiber also helps to regulate the bowel movements. Research evidence indicates that an increased intake of fiber also increases the number of stools that you pass.[r157]
With respect to relieving constipation, scientific investigations have pointed out that consumption of insoluble fiber through diet is as effective as any laxative. It is also found to be effective in children. Thus, it is recommended that we should increase the amount of dietary fiber in our day-to-day lives to help prevent this condition from happening in the first place.[r158] Although the daily recommended amount of dietary fiber is 25 grams, most people are known to take in only about 12-18 grams.[r159]
Helps Protect Against Diverticulitis
According to the UCSF Health, a high-fiber diet helps overcome the effects of diverticulitis, a condition that is characterized by small bulges formed in the lower region of the intestine or colon. This condition takes a toll on the digestive system when coupled with constipation and irregular bowel movements.[r160]
Thus, it is recommended that a high-fiber diet helps with softening of the stool and regulating bowel movements. Incorporating insoluble fiber in the diet is claimed to help reduce inflammation or infection in the colon.[r161] Patients with diverticulitis are suggested to increase their fiber intake by consuming foods like beans, brown rice, bran, whole wheat, broccoli, carrots, bananas, pears, etc. See the list below for more foods!
Daily Fiber Intake
- *Although there is no dietary reference intake for insoluble or soluble fiber, many experts recommend a total dietary fiber intake of 25 to 30 grams per day with about one-fourth — 6 to 8 grams per day — coming from soluble fiber.
- Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. DGA = Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Calculate your nutritional needs based on your activity level.
Healthy Foods High In Fiber
|Black Chia Seeds||123%|
|White Sesame Seeds||42%|
- All food nutrient profiles are based on a weight of 100 grams.
- * RDI values are based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day (Female, Age 19-30).
- All foods are vegetarian.