Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant foods that your body can’t digest. It helps keep you regular and may help prevent or control diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. In general, the more colorful the food — yellow corn kernels, green peas, orange bell peppers — the more fiber it has.
Fiber can be categorized into two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water.
Both types of fiber have benefits for your body. They help reduce your risk of disease and improve digestion. Dietary fiber is also a good source of carbohydrates that can help you feel full between meals.
The recommended daily intake for fiber is 25 grams for women ages 19 to 50 years old and 38 grams for men ages 19 to 50 years old. But most people don’t get enough fiber in their diets.
Fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke. Fiber also helps make bowel movements easier by adding bulk to stool. This means that people who consume more fiber tend to have healthier digestive systems than those who don’t get enough fiber in their diets.
Fiber helps you feel full after eating less food than you normally would. It also may help prevent constipation and other digestive problems. Fiber also lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes by lowering cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels.
Here are some ways to add more fiber to your diet:
- Eat whole grains instead of refined white flour products such as breads, pastas or cereals
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Choose whole-wheat breads, brown rice and other whole grains instead of refined versions