- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
March is National Nutrition Month and Colon Cancer Awareness Month, so what better way to celebrate the end of March and propel us through the rest of the year than to discuss the health benefits of fiber?
Fiber has more benefits than just being able to cure constipation. It is a powerful contributor to reducing your risk of colon cancer, and it can help lower your risk of heart disease. Further, fiber has a hypoglycemic effect, which is ideal for those with diabetes. It is also commonly incorporated into weight management plans. Bottom line: Fiber can help you in a multitude of ways, and it is to your advantage to include this roughage in your diet.
The average person is aware that fiber is good for you, for this is something that is stressed in almost every cereal commercial, but what exactly is it? The Mayo Clinic classifies fiber as “all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb.” Basically, it is just passing through our GI tract. It has no intention of making its way into our blood, like fats, proteins, and other carbohydrates do.
The University of California San Francisco Medical Center states that the average American is only consuming 15 grams of fiber per day, yet the adequate intake (AI) of fiber is 25 grams/day for women and 38 grams/day for men. This is based on 14 grams/1,000 kcal and is the minimum amount required to receive health benefits. This means the United States, on average, is only getting about half the dietary fiber our bodies really need. What a shame! To steer you toward the fiber track, here are ten amazing health benefits (including colon cancer prevention) of fiber.