We've all heard how important fiber is in our diet, but what's so great about fiber?
Well, fiber is good in all sorts of ways. First, it's important to understand that fiber isn't really a food or even a particular substance. It's an indigestible carbohydrate found in most plants.
If fiber is indigestible, how can it be nutritious?
A Softening Agent
That's the thing. Fiber isn't good for you because it provides nutrients, but it does help clean out your digestive system.
When you eat stuff that has a lot of fiber it hangs around in your stomach for a while and then gets passed down into your intestines with other food. Because fiber soaks up water it softens the stool, which makes it easier to eliminate.
Plus, it takes up stomach space and makes you feel full without adding any calories. If you're on a diet, eating high-fiber foods like apples, grapes, seeds, whole wheat products, and beans is a good way to avoid feeling hungry.
Sources And Further Reading:
- Mayo Clinic Staff. "Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet." Mayo Clinic: Nutrition and healthy eating. September 22, 2015. Accessed May 2, 2018.
- "Why Fiber Is So Good for You." University of California San Francisco: UCSF Medical Center. Accessed May 2, 2018.
- Zimmer, Carl. "Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why." The New York Times: Science. January 1, 2018. Accessed May 2, 2018.