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Fiber - All About Fiber

Fiber is an important component of everyone’s diet - non lifters and lifters alike. Unfortunately, most people do not get the recommended daily intake of this excellent nutrient!

Many international health organizations declare that fiber is and essential component of every diet, but few of us know why.

Read on to find out what fiber is, why it is so important, and how you can get more of it in your diet and bodybuilding nutritional needs!

To understand why fiber is important for you diet, you need to learn what it is. Dietary fiber is the indigestible portion of a plant that can be classified into two categories: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber can be defined as fiber that is easily fermented in the colon into gases. Insoluble fiber is fiber that functions to absorb water in the gastrointestinal tract and make bowel movements easier.

Fiber acts by actually changing the contents of the digestive system and effects how nutrients and chemicals are absorbed by your body. As you can probably guess, the advantages of fiber are numerous and it is truly an essential nutrient.

Along with the above functions of fiber, it also helps reduce appetite, lower blood sugar, alleviates constipation, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer, and may also reduce glucose and insulin levels.

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Fiber has also been shown to lower total LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), balance the pH in your intestines, speeds the passage of food through your body, and delays the absorption of glucose in your body.

On average, North Americans consume less than 50% of the recommended amount of fiber per day. For a healthy diet, an adult needs a minimum of 20-35 grams of fiber per day.

There are many different sources of fiber, they are: oats/oatmeal, rye, chia, barley, beans, some fruits and juices, sweet potatoes, onions, whole grain foods, nuts and seeds, vegetables like zucchini and celery, avocado, bananas, flax seed and psyllium seed husk.

During each meal, try to get a serving of fiber rich foods. Incorporating these foods into your diet will certainly help improve your overall health and performance in the gym.

If you cannot seem to consume enough of these fiber-rich foods, there are fiber supplements that can help you get the recommended amount of fiber per day. With the large amount of protein that bodybuilders consume and the constant damage they do to their muscles and central nervous system, it would be beneficial to add a fiber supplement to your diet.

For optimal results, you supplement should contain both soluble and insoluble fiber and include other important vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, and potassium.

Several studies have found that high consumers of fiber have a longer life expectancy and they are less prone to illnesses and infections. Research has also shown that diets high in fiber lowered the risk of cancer - especially in men.

Hopefully this comprehensive guide to fiber has helped you understand why fiber is such an important part of a balanced diet. It has so many advantages and benefits for the individual that you would be crazy not to incorporate more of it into your diet!

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