The Importance of Fiber
Creating good, lifelong eating habits!
Fiber is vital for good health. Dietary fiber is found exclusively in plant-based foods. We digest very little of it, so it creates a sense of fullness and helps shut down appetite - leaving us with few or no calories. SO, it is a myth that eating a diet of mainly fruits & veggies will not satisfy our hunger. Eating in this way will satisfy our hunger and minimize the over consumption of calories and of course, fat!
Fiber pulls water from the body into the intestines to keep everything moving along. Like sticky paper, it gathers up nasty chemicals in our intestines that very likely are carcinogenic. If we do not eat enough fiber (vegetables) we may get constipation-based diseases such as large bowel cancer, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
There are 2 types of dietary fiber:
Insoluble – Found in whole grain products, seeds, fresh fruits and veggie – provides bulk, making movements easier and helping to avoid constipation. As noted above, scientists studying diets high in fiber and low in fat find that insoluble fiber may avoid various gastrointestinal difficulties and could reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Soluble – Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol. Found in oat bran and dried beans, it tends to slow down the release of food from the stomach, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable so that you can avoid the feeling of fatigue and weakness connected with low blood sugar levels.
Another myth: eating dietary fiber inhibits the absorption of iron and minerals, taking them through our bodies before we are able to digest them. Actually, people who consume more plant-based foods (dietary fiber) also consume more iron, which means significantly higher levels of hemoglobin...which means healthier blood.
SO, eat more beans, leafy veggies and whole grains! Do you have any wonderfully easy recipes to share? Please do!