Fiber is probably best known for the role it plays in the digestive system, but its impressive health benefits extend well beyond, to many critical body processes.
Fiber, found in the vegetables, grains, fruits and nuts that God has provided for us, also has an important role in cardiovascular health, lowering "bad" cholesterol, controlling diabetes and even weight management.
Here are some of the main benefits of dietary fiber in the diet:
1. Protects against heart disease
Eating 12-33 grams of dietary fiber a day may lower blood pressure, reduce the inflammation attributed to cardiovascular disease and improve blood cholesterol levels. Another analysis showed that every 10 grams of dietary fiber added to the diet decreases the risk of dying of heart disease by 27%.
2. Helps to control diabetes
Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate that is not absorbed by the body, which means that it isn't converted to high blood sugars. High fiber foods are also processed more slowly, resulting in slower rises in blood sugars after meals.
3. Promotes good gastrointestinal health
The fermentation of certain types of fruit, vegetable and grain fibers in the large colon aids in the absorption of important minerals such as calcium.
4. Soluble fiber lowers bad cholesterol
Soluble fiber, by absorbing water as it passes through the body, may help pull the LDL, or "bad" cholesterol out of the body
5. Insoluble fiber speeds the trip through the GI tract
The bulk of insoluble fiber increases stool weight, making for a quicker trip through the body and promoting regularity.
6. Aids in weight management
Our bodies do not get any energy, or calories from fiber, so foods high in fiber tend to have fewer calories while still making us feel full and satisfied.
The average American consumers about 5-14 grams of dietary fiber per day, well below the amount recommended. Women should have from 21-25 grams per day, and men should have 30-38 grams per day.
Soluble fiber is found in fruits and vegetables such as apples and legumes, and in grains, plants and seeds such as barley, oats, psyllium, and guar gum. Whole grains, such as whole grain breads and brown rice, are good sources of insoluble fiber. Most fruits, vegetables and whole grains have 2-3 grams of dietary fiber per serving, while cooked dried beans and legumes contain 10-15 grams per cup.
Another option for supplementing your fiber intake is Solumet, which contains a special blend of soluble fibers such as Aborbalean Complex (with apple fiber, cellulose, citrus fibers, oat bran, guar gum, and prune fiber); Glucomannan, which slow the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream and makes you feel more full; and Inulin, a fiber-like substance that enhances the growth of beneficial organisms in the intestinal tract.
Solumet is also a carbohydrate blocker, meaning it inhibits the absorption of carbohydrates into your body, enabling more fat to be burned as fuel, and contains herbs that help curb your appetite. It is available in an easy to take wafer form, in lemon flavor.
Part of the Weight Management Program, Solumet is also sold separately at a discounted price while supplies last. See Monthly Specials for more details.