6 Reasons You Need to Eat More Fiber
Fiber deserves special attention in a healthy diet because it’s an anti-aging superstar, but the average American only gets about 15 grams of it a day, not even close to the 25 grams recommended by the American Heart Association. You’ll find it mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans — pillars of our 7 Years Younger Anti-Aging Breakthrough Diet.Related: Do You Know Which Snack Is Healthier? Take The Test!
It’s important to know that although the distinction isn’t always apparent on a food label, there are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Most fiber-rich foods contain both types — the insoluble kind helps improve your digestion, and the soluble kind gives fiber its disease-fighting clout. These health pluses will make you want to add it to your diet:
1. It shrinks belly fat.
Soluble fiber, in particular, helps whittle your waist.
2. It controls cholesterol.
Oats, beans, and other sources of soluble fiber help reduce LDL cholesterol, too much of which ratchets up your risk of heart attack.
3. It lowers heart disease risk.
Fiber helps reduce blood pressure and disease-promoting inflammation.
4. It improves insulin sensitivity.
The fiber in whole grains works even harder than the fiber in fruits and vegetables because it slows the absorption of sugar, making it easier for insulin to do its job.
5. It reduces cancer risk.
When researchers looked at the fiber consumption of 35,972 women, they found that a diet rich in fiber from whole grains and fruit offered premenopausal women significant protection against breast cancer.
6. It helps you lose weight.
One explanation: High-fiber foods take a long time to chew, giving your body time to send “I’m full” signals to the brain before you’ve overeaten. These foods also tend to take up space in your stomach, so you’re likely to stay full for longer periods of time.
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