Dr. Natasha Withers: Your body can't digest it or absorb it, so why should you care about fiber? It turns out that this component of plant foods is associated with reducing the risk for various chronic health conditions and gastrointestinal diseases. And as if that's not enough, fiber helps you loose weight.
There are two primary types of fiber; soluble and insoluble, meaning it doesn't dissolve in water. Good sources of soluble fiber include apples, barley, beans and oatmeal. You can get insoluble fiber by eating rice, carrots, salary, dark leafy greens, and whole grains.
Fiber consumption has been shown to decrease cholesterol and blood pressure, and studies have shown that people with the highest levels of fiber consumption appear to have the lowest lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease. A diet, high in fiber, also appears to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
As for loosing weight, when soluble fiber binds with water in your stomach, it forms a gelatinous mask that makes you feel full, more quickly and longer. Insoluble fiber helps move waste to the digestive check which promotes regular bowel movements that are easy to pass.
Fiber helps prevent and relieve constipation and hemorrhoids. The Institute of Medicine recommends at least 25 grams of fiber per day for a woman and 38 grams per day for a man.
So enjoy a wide variety of high fiber foods. I'm Dr. Natasha. Live well!