As one of the seven important nutrients for maintaining good health, dietary fiber has many benefits, including weight loss and improved digestive system function.
According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary guidelines, the recommended daily fiber intake is:
- Adult males: 34 grams
- Adult females: 28 grams
- 14-18 years old: 25.2-30.8 grams
- 9-13 years old: 22.4 -25.2 grams
- Children aged 4-8: 16.8-19.6 grams
- Children aged 1-3: 14 grams
Most people do not meet this standard and some don’t even meet half of the standard.
Many studies have shown that eating enough fiber is important for health.
The following are reasons why dietary fiber is good for you.
1. It helps to control weight
Fiber contains very few calories and is not easily digested.
Dietary fiber increases the volume of food and makes the food swell in the stomach like a sponge. This effect prolongs the feeling of fullness and helps to control appetite and reduce weight.
2. Promote metabolism and help burn calories
Dietary fiber can increase your metabolic rate.
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, even without additional exercise, by increasing your fiber intake from 12 grams to 24 grams per day, your body can still burn more calories. [*]
3. Improve skin health
Fiber absorbs toxins in the blood and removes them from the body through the digestive tract.
Therefore, this can make your skin healthier and shinier.
4. Improve intestinal health
Fiber is the fuel the cells in your colon use to keep themselves healthy and is a good source of probiotics. Enough cellulose can promote intestinal flora to restore a healthy balance.
Fiber also helps to keep the digestive tract flowing by keeping your bowel movements soft and regular.
5. Keep blood sugar stable
Controlling blood sugar is very important for overweight people or people with type2 diabetes.
Fiber-rich foods are more difficult to digest than carbohydrates. They can slow down the absorption of sugars and prevent large fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels.
6. Reduce cholesterol
The soluble fiber in beans, oats, flaxseed and chia seeds may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by reducing “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels.
7. Control high blood pressure
Fiber helps reduce the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
Fiber can also control high blood pressure and reduce the chance of stroke.
8. Improve immunity
A study has shown that about 70 percent of the immune system is housed in the gut.
Fiber is prebiotic, which can improve the health of the digestive tract, help repair intestinal leakage, and strengthen the body’s immunity.
9. May extend your life
A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that a fiber-rich diet was linked to longevity.
Dietary fiber is believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and digestive system disease. It can also prevent the risk of death from certain types of cancer.
10. Prevent hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are caused by inflammation of the blood vessels at the end of the anus or rectum, which can cause pain, itching and bleeding.
The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep the stool soft.
Eating a diet rich in fiber can help soften stools which prevent the formation of hemorrhoids or prevent existing hemorrhoids from getting worse.
11. Reduce the risk of cancer
A large number of documents have shown that eating a variety of foods high in fiber may prevent colon cancer. [*]
In addition, fiber may reduce the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and gastrointestinal cancer.
Dietary fiber has various health benefits. A fiber-rich diet can make you feel full faster, helping you to control your weight.
In addition, fiber can promote blood sugar control, reduce the risk of cancer and more.
Make sure to add more fiber-rich food to your diet. These foods include beans, broccoli, apples, berries or avocados, to name a few.