Why is fiber more important?
Fiber not only helps maintain healthy digestion, it also may help keep your blood vessels from narrowing.
Increasing fiber intake from cereal and whole grains appeared to slow blood vessel narrowing in a recent study. Narrowing blood vessels are commonly seen in people who have atherosclerosis, a progressive condition that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Add fiber-filled foods to your diet gradually to reduce the risk of bloating and stomach upset.
Soluble fiber is found in legumes, nuts, oat bran, and many fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol and slows stomach emptying, thereby protecting your heart and also controlling your appetite by making you feel full longer. Insoluble fiber is found in whole-grain breads and cereals, flaxseeds, and the skin of many fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber promotes bowel health and helps keep you regular. In a study of postmenopausal women with atherosclerosis, women who consumed six or more servings of whole grains per week experienced less blood vessel narrowing than women who consumed fewer servings of whole grains. Eat 25 grams of fiber per day to make your a up age 2.5 years younger, and eat six servings of whole grains per day to make your age up to 4 years younger.
Eating 25 grams (38 grams if you are a man under 50) of fiber per day makes your age 2.5 years younger than eating 12 grams of fiber per day.