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Why You Need More Fiber


 

Eat more fiber. We’ve all heard that advice, but what does it really mean?

Most people think of fiber as being in a bran muffin or cereal. In fact, dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Also known as roughage, fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb.

Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates—which your body breaks down and absorbs—fiber isn’t digested. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon and out of your body.

Soluble fiber dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow your digestion so you to feel full longer. That’s one reason fiber can help with weight control.

According to Dr. Mercola, an osteopathic physician, “Fiber regulates cholesterol levels, producing important vitamins and enzymes, strengthening your immune system and preventing certain types of cancer, such as that of the bowels.”

He recommends including 25 to 35 grams of fiber in your diet every day. You can also buy fiber supplements.

—Ninette Terhart

 

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