Dietary fiber is an essential nutrient that is best-known for helping our bodies to normalize bowel movements by sweeping the intestines of accumulated matter. However, fiber also has numerous other uses in the body. It binds itself to cancer-causing toxins in the colon, helps to stabilize blood glucose levels by absorbing sugar, and even helps to reduce total cholesterol by encouraging the liver to make more bile salts. Consequently, it is important that we eat enough fiber on a daily basis to remain healthy.
Unfortunately, the advent of processed foods – which contain little to no real fiber – has made fiber deficiencies far more common than they should be. In fact, according to the American Dietetic Association, the average American consumes just 15 grams of fiber per day, which is far less than the recommended daily intake (RDI) of 25 grams. Fortunately, preventing or correcting a fiber deficiency (and its related symptoms, such as constipation) is simply a case of eating more fiber-rich whole foods.
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