The weight loss and health benefits of fiber are vast. When we eat fiber, food passes through the body quicker, less fat is absorbed. We have a decreased appetite. Our cholesterol level is decreased. We use more calories because we have to chew longer and the stomach takes more time to digest. Best of all, fiber is detoxifying to the body.
Dietary fiber is that part of plant cell walls, such as lignans and polysaccharides, which our bodies cannot digest. There are two main types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. The best known insoluble fiber is cellulose. An example of this type of fiber is wheat bran. Soluble fibers include: hemicelluloses like oat bran, gums, mucilages found in psyllium seeds, pectins in apples or lignans found in flax. These water soluble gel-forming fibers provide many beneficial effects. For your convenience, here is a list of high fiber foods .
Here are a few easy ways to increase our fiber intake:
Buy ground flax seeds. Flax seeds contain both kinds of fiber. The seed hulls are insoluble, and internal lignans are soluble. I have patients grind flax seeds and put them in a shake. 2 heaping tablespoons per day. They taste nutty and delicious. The lignans protect us against breast cancer, research shows.
Eat brown rice. Rice bran fiber helps you stay lean. Rice bran is only in brown or wild rice, not white rice. It absorbs fat in the large intestine, and helps heal the lining of the GI tract. You can take it in capsule form or just eat brown rice, 1 cup per day.
Eat more vegetables. To get more fiber in, just eat more vegetables, don’t be afraid to sit down to a very large bowl of steamed broccoli or kale and eat the whole thing!
In addition to losing weight and feeling great, eating fiber increases your immune system, feeds the good pro-biotic bacteria there, keeps the gut lining healthy and strong, absorbs and pulls out excess hormones, fat and toxins from the body. Remember, fiber is essential to detoxifying the body. A diet rich in fiber reduces our risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, gall stones, and kidney stones. The healthiest people on the planet are the ones that consume larger amounts of fiber.