One of my key focus areas right now is trying to eat more fiber. I found these great Fiberful Dried Fruit Bars at TJ’s that are totally doing the trick! They taste great (like a fruit leather) and are packed full of fiber.
Let’s see what Lance Armstrong has to say about Fiber:
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber forms a gel in the digestive tract, which slows digestion and prevents the body from absorbing too much starch and sugar. According to Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology, this can lower cholesterol by 10 to 15 percent, indirectly assisting the prevention of heart disease and stroke. Soluble fiber is the type commonly found in over-the-counter laxatives. Dried beans, peas, oats, apples, citrus fruits, carrots and barley are good sources of natural soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber absorbs water, creating bulkier stool. It also helps the bowels move quickly through the digestive tract, which is helpful to people who suffer from constipation or irregular bowel movements. Insoluble fiber is found in whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, various vegetables and peels of fruit, such as apples, blueberries and grapes.
Fiber promotes weight loss in a variety of ways. Foods rich in fiber generally take a longer period of time to chew, giving your body more time to register you are full. This can prevent you from overeating and can make you feel full for a long period of time, so you are not hungry between meals.
Both types of fiber promote digestive health. Fiber assists the body in having regular bowel movements and increases the weight and size of stool, as well as softens it. This decreases chances of constipation and can help solidify diarrhea by absorbing water.
Different types of fiber can also be effective in helping irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. Fiber may also help control blood sugar levels and prevent Type 2 diabetes. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, fiber may also help prevent various types of cancer, but further studies are needed to prove this.