Along with the development of technology, human understanding of nutrition becomes more and more specific.
One of the most important nutrients that has remained the heart of many studies for the last decades is fiber.
While there is a wide recognition that fiber plays an important role in human health, its real effects are still under dispute.
Whether it is good or bad for our health depends on the types of fiber we take in.
Fiber can be defined as carbohydrates that humans cannot digest.
Normally, there are two main types of fiber, depending on the solubility in liquids.
There are many abundant sources of fiber you can find in the nature, namely, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts or legumes…
These foods are also highly recommended by the authorities so that everyone can absorb enough fiber to remain healthy.
The importance of fiber in our diet was supported by studies from the Harvard School of Public Health.
On the other hand, you should equip yourself with a full understanding of as many nutrients as possible.
Fiber is a nutrient that can be considered as unique to plants. It is equal to the bones and muscles in animals.
Fiber plays an essential role in the structure and shape of plants.
Health Benefits of Fiber
Here are top 6 health benefits of fiber that you had better understand in order to convince yourself to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables every day.
1. Weight Loss
Health benefits of fiber on weight loss are still a controversial issue.
It is claimed that only a certain number of types of fiber can have positive effects on weight loss.
When 44 studies on fiber were reviewed, the result showed that the increase in satiety was witnessed in 39 percent of fiber treatments.
Meanwhile, only 22 percent could lead to the reduction in food consumption (1).
Besides, several fibers are reported to keep water in your intestine and thus, it takes longer for the body to absorb nutrients. As a result, you will feel full for a longer period of time (2).
Nevertheless, there are types of fiber that make no change in weight loss at all (5).
Bottom Line: By lengthening time of feeling full and reducing calorie intake, several fiber can aid weight loss, but some others do not.
One of the most popular and also best health benefits of fiber is to improve the digestive system (6).
This quality is undeniable and supported by scientific research, unlike other fiber health benefits.
Fibrous substances will supplement more bulk to the stool, which makes it bigger and softer.
As a result, it is easier for the stool to move through your intestinal tract.
Fiber is particularly beneficial for those who experience constipation.
In an experiment, 64 participants experiencing chronic constipation received a considerable intake of fiber, but they did not witness improvement (9).
Some other research claim that only soluble fiber is beneficial for constipation treatment, not insoluble fiber (10).
Bottom Line: There is no agreement on the real effects of fiber on constipation treatment. While it is good for some, others might suffer from it.
3. Lower Cholesterol
One of the best health benefits of fiber is to lower the level of blood cholesterol, but in fact, the result is not really outstanding.
According to many trials, the 2-10 gram provision of soluble fiber on a daily basis resulted in a reduction of 2.2 mg/dl in the amount of LDL cholesterol (11).
In some other studies, the effectiveness of fiber was more significant (12).
Scientists concluded that the result is much dependent on the types of fiber people consume.
Several observational studies also indicate the association between high intake of fiber and low risk of cardiovascular disease (13).
Bottom Line: Numerous types of fiber are beneficial for the cholesterol level, even though it is not as good as expectations.
4. Lower Blood Sugar
Fiber-rich foods often have the low score of the glycemic index (14).
For those who have little idea of the glycemic index, it is used to count the changes in blood sugar after meals.
It means that one of the best health benefits of fiber might be to regulate the blood sugar level.
However, fiber will take its best effect when you consume a diet that is rich in carbs.
The paradox is that a carb-rich diet is often avoided by those who have problems with blood sugar.
Bottom Line: With low glycemic index, foods containing fiber are regarded as beneficial for blood sugar level.
As a result of fiber health benefits on blood sugar, patients with diabetes can benefit from this element.
6. Remove Toxins
Among top health benefits of fiber, it is imperative to mention its effects on the eradication of toxins from the body.
Fiber can make foods move through your intestine faster, which improves the removal of toxic waste through soft stools.
Undeniably, fiber is necessary for our well-being.
The deficiency of fiber might lead to a series of health problems, such as higher risk of strokes or heart attacks.
However, its consumption should be also contained to some extent unless you want to experience some unwanted consequences.
In some cases, the excessive intake of fiber may trigger bloating or abdominal cramps.
Besides, dehydration is another common side effect of too much fiber.
As much water will be used by fiber in your body, other organs might experience a lack of fluid.
To prevent this scenario, you had better supply yourself with enough water and keep the fiber intake under control.
This section is designed to provide you with some infographics to grab a quick understanding of fiber nutrition and health benefits.
Do you agree with all of these amazing health benefits of fiber? You can comment your ideas on the box below or simply share your own experience.
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Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.