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Eat more fiber, you've probably heard it before. But do you know why fiber is so good for your health?

Dietary fiber, found primarily in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods that contain fiber also have other health benefits.


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Dietary fiber was once considered a worthless impurity

Dietary fiber refers to the sum of indigestible components in food that are not decomposed by human gastrointestinal digestive enzymes.

In the 1960s, dietary fiber was a completely neglected food component. Many people thought it was an impurity that should be removed, and did not think it had any utilization value. With the progress of society and the development of science and technology, many scientists began to pay attention to dietary fiber. In the 1970s, scientists have discovered that different dietary habits are the cause of many chronic diseases, and it is dietary fiber that plays an important role in these diseases of the human body.

From then on, dietary fiber is no longer considered waste, but a useful nutritious food ingredient, and has become what people consider six nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates, inorganic salts and trace elements, vitamins, water nutrients ) followed by another nutrient. This kind of nutrient was often regarded as a kind of carbohydrate in the past, but today people have begun to recognize it as a kind of nutrient alone.


Benefits of a High Fiber Diet

  • Normalize bowel movement and maintain bowel health.
  • Lower cholesterol levels.
  • Helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Helps implement a healthy weight.
  • Help you live longer.


How to Add More Fiber to Your Meals and Snacks

  • Start your day. For breakfast, choose a high-fiber breakfast cereal (5 grams or more of fiber per serving). Choose cereal with "whole grain," "bran," or "fiber" in the name. Or add a few tablespoons of raw wheat bran to your favorite cereal.
  • Switch to whole grains. Change at least half of your grain intake to whole grains. Look for breads that list whole wheat, whole wheat flour, or another whole grain as the first topping ingredient and contain at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Try eating brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole grain pasta and bulgar wheat.
  • Bulk baked goods. When baking, replace half or all of the white flour with whole grain flour. Try adding bran cereal, unrefined bran, or raw rolled oats to muffins, cakes, and cookies.
  • Choose more beans. Soybeans, peas and lentils are excellent sources of fiber. Add kidney beans to canned soups or green salads. Or make nachos with refried black beans, plenty of fresh veggies, whole-grain corn chips, and a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. Aim for five or more servings per day.
  • Let the snacks do the trick. Fresh fruit, raw vegetables, low-fat popcorn, and graham crackers are all good choices. Nuts or dried fruit are also healthy, high-fiber snacks. But be aware that nuts and dried fruit are high in calories.

High-fiber foods are good for your health. But adding too much fiber too quickly can cause flatulence, bloating, and cramping.

The Institute of Medicine provides scientific advice on medical and health issues, and they recommend daily fiber intake for adults as:

  • 50 or under:

Men: 38 grams
Women: 25 grams

  • 51 years or older

Men: 30 grams
Women: 21 grams

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A healthy life starts with a reasonable intake of dietary fiber. Moving around and drinking plenty of water can also help keep your gut healthy. Smart watches provide sedentary and water drinking reminders, and are also excellent fitness and health trackers, allowing you to better perceive changes in your body.