As many of you may have heard before, a diet that contains the right amount of fiber results in a large array of benefits. These advantages range from normalizing bowel movements and sustaining bowel health, lowering cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels, and promotes healthy weight management. However what many do not know is that there are different forms of fiber that we can include in our daily living. But first, what exactly is fiber? Fiber is a bulk or roughage that contains ingredients that our bodies cannot absorb. Fiber is not digested by our bodies unlike carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. There are two kinds of fiber, soluble, which dissolves in water, and insoluble which does not dissolve in water. Soluble fibers can be found in citrus fruits, beans, apples, barley, carrots, oats, and peas; which aids in lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fibers promote proper digestive movement and the removal of stool bulk. Insoluble fibers are found in foods such as wheat, cauliflower, nuts, potatoes, and green beans. So now the question is, how much fiber do you really need? According to the Institute of Medicine, Men the age of 50 or younger need an average of 38 grams daily, Men age 51 or older require 30 grams. Women the age of 50 or younger need 25 grams, and women 51 or older needs 21 grams daily.
Alongside this, a surprising study from the University of Aukland shows us that fiber is not only beneficial in maintaining adequate bowel movement or relieving constipation. Fiber also assists in reducing inflammation in the lungs of smokers. Society today is well aware the the best action in regards to smoking is to quit all together, but studies show that a high diet in fiber can be significant and beneficial in the lives of smokers. Emphysema and Lung Cancer are prevalent illnesses in the world today. Lung inflammation as a result of smoking has been seen to cause or substantially lead towards these illnesses and shortening an individuals life by up to 20 years. The most beneficial effects of a high fiber diet in smokers results from increased absorption of naturally occurring anti-inflammatory chemicals that are produced by protective gut bacteria. As stated previously, the best approach to avoided such life altering illnesses that result from smoking are to quit smoking entirely; however, fiber can make substantial effects in the lungs of those who continue to smoke.