Extensive research into the consumption of fiber and its role in disease prevention has proven that fiber does infact protect against most non-communicable diseases.
According to Professor Jim Mann, from the University of Otago, New Zealand, the ideal amount of fiber consumption is 25 to 29 grams per day. Spanning almost 40 years, and over 4600 people, Professor Mann’s study focused on the incidence of chronic diseases and consequent death, and how those diseases could be prevented with the use of fiber.
Fiber intake and chronic diseases:
Chronic non-communicable diseases such as stroke, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity-related cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal and prostate cancer occur less likely in people with adequate fiber consumption. Compared to people who don’t consume fiber, the risk of fiber consuming people from dying of the aforementioned chronic diseases reduces by 15 to 30 percent.
There are many great natural sources of fiber that if incorporated into the diet, could benefit greatly. The ideal amount is 25 to 29 grams, and on average most adults take in just around 15 grams per day. This number is reduced even more in people with more fast food consumption.
Other health benefits:
Apart from preventing chronic diseases, there are some other health benefits of fiber as well. For instance, fiber is a great way of preventing weight gain. Infact, fiber-rich diets, combined with proteins can help you lose weight without decreasing the amount of food you eat normally. Moreover, fiber helps you feel full everyday, keeps you satiated and keeps the blood sugar level stable. It thus curbs hunger and manages hypoglycemia.
Another great benefit of fiber is its role in managing hyperlipidemia. Fiber helps to stabilize the HDL and lower the LDL level. It has a favourable effect on lipid levels in the body.
Because fiber is broken down by the bacteria in the large intestine, it has a protective effect against colorectal carcinoma. Furthermore, according to Mindy Haar, PhD, at New York Institute of Technology School of Health Professions, fiber is a probiotic and boosts the proliferation of good bacteria in the intestines, thus promoting good health.
Food sources rich in fiber:
Natural foods like vegetables and fruits are a great source of fiber. Other sources include whole-grain pasta, lentils, sweet potatoes, popcorn, bread, cereals, brown rice, beans, chickpeas and quinoa. Other insoluble forms include flaxseeds and ispaghol.
The general rule should be to include at least one serving of whole grain in every meal. You can also indulge in salads that are rich in a variety of beans. Each half-cup serving gives about 7 to 8 grams of fiber.
Seek help from a professional nutritionist and expert who can guide you through your daily fiber consumption.
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