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Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber – found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes – is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But getting a healthy amount of fiber provides many other health benefits as well. 

Fiber is classified in two ways:

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material. This fiber can help lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. You’ll find soluble fiber in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus, carrots, barley, and psyllium.

Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of matter through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. If you suffer constipation or irregular stools you’ve probably used this kind of fiber. Whole wheat flour, nuts, beans and vegetables (such as cauliflower, green beans, etc.) are good sources of insoluble fiber.

The amount of these fibers varies between plant foods, so be sure to eat a variety.

What benefits can you expect?

Normalized bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool, and also softens it. Bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. This fiber also helps solidify loose stool.

Helps maintain bowel health. High fiber diets may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. Studies have also found that high fiber diets lower the risk of colorectal cancer!

Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering the low density lipoprotein (aka “bad”) cholesterol levels. High fiber foods may also have other heart health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

Helps control blood sugar. Soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. Increasing insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Helps achieve healthy weight. High fiber foods fill you up, and help you eat less and stay satisfied longer. Also, high fiber foods tend to have fewer calories for the same volume than other foods.

Helps you live longer. Increasing dietary fiber intake – especially cereal fiber – is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.
Current recommendations are for men to consume over 30 grams of fiber daily and women to consume over 20 grams of fiber daily. As you move into a plant based diet meeting these requirements becomes easier. But you can also include a supplement!

If you are intimidated by trying to include this much fiber in your daily diet, give Jarro Formulas Gentle Fibers formula a try! This high quality formula includes both soluble and insoluble fiber plus plant antioxidants. Visit and see if this formula is right for you!