January 04, 2018
For years, most nutritionists have agreed that eating foods high in fiber — like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — helps prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Now, scientists have a better idea why fiber is so healthy.
"Their research indicates that fiber doesn’t deliver many of its benefits directly to our bodies," says Carl Zimmer in the New York Times. "Instead, the fiber we eat feeds billions of bacteria in our guts. Keeping them happy means our intestines and immune systems remain in good working order."
According to one of the scientists Zimmer spoke with, the University of Michigan's Eric C. Martens, the difference that fiber makes in your intestines "could be a tipping point between health and disease.”
How easy is it to add more fiber to your diet? Very easy! The key is to add more fruits and vegetables to your meals whenever possible. It doesn't have to be fancy — frozen broccoli has the exact same benefits as a perfectly steamed dish of fresh broccoli.
Try substituting whole wheat bread instead of white bread when you eat a sandwich — or even better, ditch the bread altogether and turn it into a lettuce or spinach wrap! Instead of eating a side of rice with your dinner (which your body breaks down into sugar, by the way), make it a side of brussel sprouts. Instead of snacking on crackers, snack on carrots!