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6 Amazing Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet

6 Amazing Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet

When it comes to choosing the best diet for our body, there’s always a bit of clash between what to eat and what not to eat. Expert opinions flood the internet promoting various diets that promise fast weight loss and cancer-fighting attributes. It may be confusing to determine which of these diets is really good for our body.

Our bodies, like machines, need fuel to run properly. And food is our fuel. What we eat now can determine the quality of our health in the long run. This is why choosing the best diet for your lifestyle and body is very important when it comes to preventing various diseases that can affect the quality of your life.

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Fiber, a plant-based nutrient, is found mainly in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. It is popularly associated with its ability to prevent constipation. However, fiber has other great health benefits that most people don’t know. The following are some of the amazing health benefits of a high fiber diet.

1. A high-fiber diet can help you lose weight

What is the secret to healthy and fast weight loss? No, it’s not exercise or quitting carbs. According to a new study, the best way to slim down is to “focus on high-fiber, minimally processed, plant based food.” This is primarily attributed to fiber’s ability to create a sensation of fullness right after eating. Fiber activates stretch receptors or those nerve cells that signal your brain that you’re full. This helps you digest food slowly, extending the time for the nutrients to go to your bloodstream and increasing your feeling of satiety.

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2. It can improve your gut health

Your gut houses hundreds of different species of bacteria, and every day it feeds off the things you eat. While some of these bacteria are actually beneficial, the rest may cause inflammation and gut diseases. This is where fiber comes in. A diet high in fiber helps reduce inflammation and risk of getting gut diseases. Good bacteria feast on fermentable fibers which allow them to extract the fiber’s vitamins and nutrients, which are beneficial to our body.

3. It reduces the risk of hemorrhoids

A high-fiber diet doesn’t just help you with your bowels, it also prevents you from getting hemorrhoids! Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your rectal region, often a result of too much straining when defecating. Foods rich in fiber make the best natural laxatives that can prevent hematochezia (having blood in stools), which can be alarmingly painful!

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4. It can help control your blood sugar

Having a high-fiber diet can help you control your blood sugar. Unlike refined carbohydrates that cause spikes in your blood sugar, eating fiber doesn’t create any bodily changes. In fact, fiber simply passes through your digestive system, often intact and undigested. Fiber, unlike carbs, doesn’t require insulin to digest. If you eat the recommended fiber consumption every day, you’ll lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes.

5. It can help prevent heart disease

A diet high in soluble fiber can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease by up to 50 percent. This reduces your risk of stroke and heart attack. A study has found that for every seven grams of fiber you consume, your chance of stroke is believed to decrease by 7 percent.

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6. It makes your skin glow

Eat your way to a healthier-looking skin. A high fiber diet doesn’t only benefit your body internally; it can also make your skin glow and look younger. Experts believe a diet high in fiber can help remove fungus and yeast out of your body while preventing them from being excreted through your skin, which can cause rash and acne.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Armela Escalona

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Last Updated on November 20, 2020

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

One 2017 study found that:[1]

“after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

    As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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    Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

    1. Remember Your Why

    It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

    Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

    2. Go to Bed Early

    If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

    This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

    3. Make a Commitment

    I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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    Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

    You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

    4. Find a Friend

    If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

    Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

    Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

    5. Treat Yourself

    We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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    You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

    6. Change your Mindset

    Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

    When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

    7. Plan Your Day

    You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

    Time blocking

      8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

      Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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      For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

      9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

      Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

      10.  Set Multiple Alarms

      Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

      Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

      Final Thoughts

      About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

      Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

      More Tips on Morning Exercises

      Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

      Reference

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