When it comes to eating a healthy and balanced diet, we all know the basics about making sure to eat enough vegetables and protein. Nowadays, we also know that fat is not evil (unless it’s the saturated kind) and it is essential to include sources of healthy fat in our diet which are primarily found in oils from plants and fish. But how many of us are aware that we should make sure we are including enough fibre in our diet or even know what it is?
Unfortunately, a lot of people imagine eating fibre to be the same as eating shredded cardboard. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Dietary fibre is found mostly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. It provides a host of benefits, but is most well-known for its benefits for preventing constipation. And let’s face it, staying regular already goes a long way to making you feel healthy and it also reduces the risk of developing other issues such as hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are no fun, so avoiding them is something you definitely want to achieve. However, some people are prone to developing them – if you are overweight, sit for long periods of time, are pregnant or have digestive issues making constipation more likely – so there are certain products you can take to help relieve pain and give you an added boost of fibre to prevent them. This HemClear review will give more information about one such product.
Staying regular and the avoidance of hemorrhoids is not the only reason to include more dietary fibre into your diet, there are a whole lot of other health benefits too.
Increasing the amount of fibre you consume can help you lose weight and also maintain a healthy weight over time. Foods that are high in fibre keep you feeling fuller for longer which stops you from snacking. It also stops your body from absorbing some calories by binding to fat and sugar and allowing these to pass through your digestive system without being absorbed. One study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that the participants that only increased their fibre intake lost almost as much weight as those participants who were put on a much stricter diet. Some tasty, high-fibre foods to eat to help you lose weight include apples, raspberries, sweet potatoes, and oats.
Improved Heart Health
As mentioned previously, soluble fibre can help move certain particles out of the body without being absorbed. This is how it is believed to help lower cholesterol – by moving cholesterol particles through the digestive system and out of the body before they are absorbed. Studies have also found that a high-fibre diet can help reduce blood pressure and by simply choosing whole grains over refined grains can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 36%.
Healthier Gut Bacteria
We have trillions of bacteria living in our gut all competing with each other. The bacteria found in our gut are what keep us healthy and protect us from many diseases so it is important to make sure we keep these bacteria in balance and feed the good bacteria what they need. Research has shown that gut flora is affected by different diets and the food of choice for this good bacteria is fibre. So if the microbes are not fed what they need, they will need to find another source of sustenance and this is usually the lining of the gut. The bacteria will feed off the protective mucous lining of the gut making it vulnerable to inflammation and disease which has severe consequences for your overall health.
As we can see, eating a high-fibre diet is extremely beneficial for your overall health. And it doesn’t have to be difficult to do. You can start by simply swapping out your refined grains for whole grains. So ditch the white flour and white rice, and eat whole-wheat flour, oats, quinoa, and brown rice instead. There are many tasty ways to include more fibre in your diet, so give it a shot and start today!