Ups and Downs of Having Fiber in Your Diet

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are standard components of a healthy diet. Aside from being low in fat and loaded with nutrients, they are also excellent sources of fiber. Most people are aware of the benefit of getting vitamins from fruits and veggies, but not everyone fully understands how dietary fiber works for the body. Let us explore the ups and downs of having fiber in your diet and discover how it can be used for better health.

fiber in diet

Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested or absorbed in the small intestine. It is known for improving bowel movement and preventing constipation. There are two types of fiber, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber can be dissolved by water and forms a gel like substance that promotes digestive health. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and comes out of the body fairly intact.

Knowing the amount and type of fiber in your diet can help improve health management. Weight watchers usually opt for food with soluble fiber such as carrots, cucumber, strawberry, orange, nuts, beans, and oatmeal. These food items make you feel full thus, reducing one’s tendency to overeat. People who are watching their blood sugar and cholesterol levels can also benefit from including soluble fiber in their diet. It can help decrease levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol otherwise known as the bad cholesterol. This means better health for your heart. Soluble fibers are also known to lower blood sugar levels and improve glycemic control.

Insoluble fiber in your diet promotes digestive health by adding bulk and softening stool. This can help people suffering from constipation as well as those with watery stool. The added bulk makes bowel movement easier and the fiber’s ability to absorb water can help address watery stool. Aside from constipation, insoluble fiber can also lessen the risk for hemorrhoids, diverticular disease, and colo-rectal cancer. Whole grain, brown rice, raisins, and dark leafy vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber. Soluble and insoluble fibers have their respective health benefits for the body. There is no need to be particular about the type of fiber in your food unless you have a health goal that you want to achieve.

The low fat, low calorie and high nutrient value of a high-fiber diet makes it an attractive option for health buffs. However, one should also be aware of the downside in having too much fiber too soon. Adding a lot of fiber in your diet quickly can lead to tummy aches due to gas, bloating or abdominal cramps. Add more fiber in your diet gradually to avoid experiencing its downside. Get your daily dose of fiber from a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains to enjoy your healthy meals.

Health and Beauty Benefits of Cucumber

You don’t have to look far to find help in maintaining a healthy and beautiful skin. The kitchen alone holds plenty of ingredients that can bring out your natural beauty. The cucumber for instance is one popular diet and beauty product ingredient for those who want have healthier and better looking skin. If you are not familiar with the health and beauty benefits of cucumber, then read on and unravel the secrets of the good old cucumber.

cucumber health benefitsImage courtesy of

A healthy and young looking skin can be difficult to achieve without a healthy or properly nourished body. As such, fruits and vegetables also play an important role in your skin care regimen. Cucumber is perhaps one of the most common vegetable found in kitchens. This crisp and crunchy veggie is often used for making salads and sandwiches especially for those who want to keep fit. It is low in calorie, high in fiber and mostly made up of water. The cucumber also has an enzyme that aids in digestion of protein. As such it is able to help keep the body hydrated and cleanse the toxins from one’s system. The beauty benefits of cucumber come from its other nutrients like Vitamin C, calcium, and beta carotene. Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant property that gets rid of free radicals in the body, and also a popular ingredient in anti-aging products.

Aside from including cucumber in your diet, you may also use it for your skin care regimen. There is a reason why cucumbers can be seen in posters or ads of women undergoing beauty treatments. The beauty benefits of cucumber can be quite versatile. You can use it for soothing skin irritations, cleansing, toning, moisturizing etc. But it is best known as a remedy for removing eye bags or puffiness and dark circles around the eyes. Two slices of cucumber placed on top of your eyelids while you sleep can help reduce swelling and lighten the dark circles in your eye area. Its cooling properties also help in soothing tired eyes. Those who have oily skin can also use sliced cucumbers to remove excess oil in their skin. The cucumber juice can also be made into a cleanser and toner that remove dirt and oil on your face. You can also whip-up a cucumber juice face mask to promote skin tightening, remove freckles or tan marks, and lighten skin. Its hydrating properties also make it effective in moisturizing the skin.

Eat, slice it, juice it, or whip it into a beauty product, the good old cucumber sure has plenty to offer for those who seek good health and beautiful skin. So bring out this popular salad fare and start reaping the health and beauty benefits of cucumber.