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7 Amazing Health Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet

by Healthy Lifestyle the story 3 months ago in food · updated 2 months ago
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Fiber Diet

7 Amazing Health Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet
Photo by Cole Patrick on Unsplash

How much fiber do you eat each day? If you’re not eating enough, your diet might be missing out on some amazing health benefits. Here are seven of the most notable and important benefits you can get from consuming high-fiber foods every day. Plus, if you aren’t already eating high-fiber foods, it’s easy to start by following this one tip on how to incorporate more fiber into your diet!

1) Fiber can reduce cholesterol

Fiber isn’t just good for your digestion—it can also have a beneficial effect on your overall health. Adding fiber to your diet can naturally treat blood pressure, improve heart health and help with weight loss and diabetes. Research even suggests that high-fiber diets may help reduce cholesterol levels, as well as reduce stress levels by easing tension in arterial walls. That said, not all fiber is created equal—the more refined or processed it is, the less it will do you good! Instead, choose healthy sources like whole grains (oatmeal and quinoa), seeds (flaxseeds) and fruit (avocados).

2) Fiber can help with weight loss

A high-fiber diet is associated with lower body weight, says Dr. Charles Burant, an endocrinologist at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. People who eat more fiber tend to have less abdominal fat—that means not just less fat on their tummy but overall less body fat. This can be especially helpful for those looking to lose weight. In fact, one study found that when people ate foods rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber (think: whole grains), they lost more weight than people who didn’t add extra fiber to their diets. Foods rich in soluble fiber include oats and beans; insoluble fibers are found in whole grains and dark green vegetables like broccoli. Aim for about 30 grams of total dietary fiber per day (soluble plus insoluble). That’s about 14 grams from fruits and veggies alone, so if you’re eating a healthy amount of plant foods each day you should easily hit your target number.

3) Fiber can lower your risk of heart disease

Research has shown that consuming fiber can lower your risk of heart disease. Make sure to get enough fiber in your diet from sources like whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. For example, eating just three servings of whole grains per day is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. And if you're looking for another reason to eat more veggies, they're also high in fiber! But it's not just about what you eat—it's also about how much you eat. Eating too many calories will pack on pounds regardless of whether or not they come from healthy foods.

4) Fiber can prevent constipation

Yes, constipation is common, but it’s also often caused by what you eat. If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet, you can experience chronic constipation and bloating, which will only exacerbate any mental or physical ailments you already have. Fiber can help alleviate these issues and get things moving again for better overall health. In fact, high-fiber diets are linked to improved mental health as well; stress levels drop when there’s less strain on our colons.

5) Fiber promotes gut health

The gut houses around 100 trillion bacteria, which help break down food. Fiber promotes healthy gut flora, which can improve immune function and protect against certain diseases. In one study, women who ate a lot of fiber saw improvements in their glucose metabolism and body fat levels compared to those who ate less fiber. Consuming 25 grams or more of fiber daily is associated with lower cholesterol levels, too.

6) Fiber can treat acid reflux

A high-fiber diet is beneficial for preventing acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when stomach acid splashes up into your esophagus. The acid irritates your esophagus, making it difficult to eat and causing chest pain. When you’re eating a high-fiber diet, you’re likely consuming more fruits and vegetables, both of which are great sources of fiber.

7) Fiber can protect against colon cancer

Eating plenty of fiber is good for your heart, but recent research has found that it’s also good for your health. The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests that people who eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day reduce their risk of colon cancer by 38 percent. A high-fiber diet can also help ward off constipation, hemorrhoids and other gastrointestinal problems.

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