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Why Fiber Is Important in Your Diet

We all know that fiber is an important part of your diet, but few may understand just HOW important it is to your overall health, including your heart. As reported by HealthGrades, a new study shows that men who consumed around 28.9 grams of fiber per day had a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease.

I've been interested in the health benefits of fiber for a long time — so much so, my classmates nicknamed me "Dr. Fiber" when I was in medical school in the '70s. The truth is a high-fiber diet is linked to disease prevention and lower mortality for any cause of death with each 10-gram-per-day increase in fiber intake.

Soluble fibers also help nourish beneficial bacteria, which assist with digestion and absorption of your food, and play a significant role in your immune function. For this reason, I suggest you consider upping your fiber intake today. But when you do that, make sure you’re eating the right kinds of fiber. While cereal grains are promoted in many health venues as fiber sources, I don’t agree that grains are the way to go, as today’s highly processed cereals and breads may cause intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome.

Your best source of dietary fiber comes from vegetables. So, to maximize your health benefits, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts and seeds. Root vegetables and tubers, including onions, sweet potatoes and jicama are good for this. So are flax and chia seeds, berries, almonds, peas, beans and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
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