Fiber on All Cylinders

Four more reasons to seek out high-fiber foods

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Fiber is indigestible for humans. That makes it sound like something you shouldn’t consume, but it turns out that a diet high in fiber is beneficial for improving health, reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle tissue. Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is “gummier” and swells with water. It traps a portion of harmful microbes and dietary fats, preventing them from entering your body. Insoluble fiber, such as plant-based cellulose, increases bulk, which eases digestion.

Here are more benefits derived from consuming dietary fiber.

Fiber boosts absorption of nutrients. While fiber prevents many things from entering your system, it also allows micronutrients and other macronutrients to be more readily absorbed.

Fiber helps reduce appetite. Fiber helps fill you up so you eat less. That’s in addition to the dietary fat it prevents from entering your system. And keep in mind that fiber is included in the carb count on nutrition labels, so you can subtract that amount from carb impact.

Fiber helps increase lean muscle tissue. When you consume fiber with protein at whole-food meals, the aminos are delivered more slowly, which means that they help protect and increase lean muscle tissue for longer.

Fiber boosts beneficial bacteria. It increases the amount of probiotics — beneficial bacteria — that live in your system and supports health and digestion.

Here are some foods you can consume to boost your fiber intake: