The Why Behind Dietary Fiber Dietary fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet. You’ve probably heard on several occasions that fiber is an essential component of every good diet and that it’s good for your health. But, why?Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Selecting tasty foods that provide fiber is not a difficult task. Find out how much dietary fiber you need, the foods that contain it, and how to add them to meals and snacks. What is dietary fiber? Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can't digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn't digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body. Benefits of a high-fiber diet The benefits of fiber are incredible to your body.
- Fiber normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
- Fiber helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Studies have also found that a high-fiber diet likely lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Fiber lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
- Fiber helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Fiber aids in achieving healthy weight. High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you're likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
- And finally, fiber helps you live longer. Studies suggest that increasing your dietary fiber intake — especially cereal fiber — is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.
- Whole-grain products
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
Natural and Quick Anxiety Remedies When You Need Them Everyone has anxiety at some point in their life. When anxiety strikes, you need fast relief. Here are six ways to tame your mild anxiety, prior to seeing your doctor. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the U.S., affecting about one out of five people at any given time, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Anxiety can take many forms — generalized anxiety disorder (constant worrying about everyday things), obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder. While medications to treat these anxiety conditions are often an important component in the management of anxiety, there is also many natural, do-it-yourself techniques that can help calm you down, either in place of medications or as a supplement to them. Next time you're too tense to cope, consider trying one of these natural options for relief.
- Laugh it off. Laugh. Laugh out loud. Laugh at anything. Make yourself laugh.Even if you do a fake laugh, you get an instant hit of dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that controls feelings of reward and pleasure. If you're too tense to laugh on your own, try using technology.. For example, find a laugh track phone app. Just google phone apps for laughing.
- Schedule relaxation. Consider sitting down and looking at your schedule. Find some time to schedule it in and put it on your calendar if necessary. Studies helping shy men with social anxiety found that a period of relaxation helped them, lowering their heart rates after they interacted with people.
- Ask your doctor about taking GABA. Gamma-aminobutyric acid, (GABA) is a brain transmitter that counteracts the action of another neurotransmitter, glutamate that increases your excitability.The supplement may help calm anxious people. Studies have shown that individuals who ate chocolate enriched with GABA before tackling an arithmetic task were less stressed after completing it than those who didn't have the GABA-infused chocolate.
- Try lavender. Try lavender essential oil to calm yourself,The smell of lavender is very relaxing. You can put it into diffuser, spritz it on yourself during the day, or rub it gently into your temple.
- Ground yourself. When anxiety hits, do something tangible and change the subject within your brain. For example, take your house keys out of your pock, run your fingers along the keys. Or grab an ice cube and hold it as long as you can. That sensation will give you 'grounding and distract you from the anxious feelings.
- Face the fear. If something makes you scared, and gives you anxiety, face your fear. If you feel shy, go out to social functions. Scared of heights, climb higher than you have before and face your height fear. Exposure therapy, or facing the fear, helps you learn to live with risk and uncertainty.