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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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