Everyone knows that fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, but do you know why?  The World’s Healthiest Foods discusses the health benefits of fiber and how to include fiber into your meals.

Fiber is a nutrient found in plants. However, unlike other nutrients that are extracted by our bodies through digestion, fiber simply goes moves the body until it reaches the large intestine. There, fiber is broken down thanks to trillions of bacteria.

There are many foods that contain fiber. Many of these are beans, such as navy beans, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans. Other sources of fiber include:

  • Lentils
  • Dried peas.
  • Tempeh
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Spinach
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Oranges
  • Quinoa

There are several benefits to fiber:

  • Digestion:  Both soluble and insoluble fiber regulate the digestive process.
  • Blood sugar:  Fiber can help with controlling blood sugar levels in the body. This is because when fiber is digested, the body increases production of glucogon-like peptide, a hormone that affects blood sugar. This is important for those who struggle with type-2 diabetes.
  • Large intestine:  Fiber helps the large intestine make bacteria that help with digestion. Another positive impact fiber has on the large intestine is that it helps maintain the health of the large intestine/colon and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
  • Cardiovascular health:  When you eat foods rich in fiber, cholesterol binds with the fiber and is passed through the body. This helps to reduce cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.

Another advantage? The nutritional benefit of fiber is not lost or diminished because of storage. Also, despite minor changes during cooking, there is still no significant loss of nutritional benefit of fiber. However, the World’s Healthiest Foods notes that commercial processing can sometimes affect nutrients. In addition, breads made with flour that has less than 100% extraction of grain will have reduced fiber levels.

Want to learn more about fiber and its health benefits.? Read the full article here:  Fiber.