Fiber is extremely beneficial for the overall health of the body. It helps to maintain a clean digestive tract, improves metabolism and also has the ability to lower cholesterol levels naturally. Fiber is found primarily in plant-based foods, and a good amount of these foods will ensure that the body receives enough fiber in order to lower cholesterol levels.
There are two types of fiber known as soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the most beneficial for lowering cholesterol because it is able to dissolve in water and bind itself to the fatty substances and cholesterol within the digestive tract. Once the cholesterol is bound to the fiber, it has no choice but to leave the body along with the fiber.
Cleans Digestive Tract
In the same way that fiber is able to eliminate cholesterol from the intestinal tract, it also eliminates many other harmful substances that get lodged in there. If the harmful substances are allowed to remain in the digestive tract they often get absorbed into fat cells, which is one of the body’s defense mechanisms against toxins within the body. Too many fat cells eventually cause excess weight gain as well as high cholesterol levels.
Increases Bile Production
Another way that fiber helps to lower cholesterol is by increasing the production of bile. Bile is essential for the digestion of fats and it is created by the liver from a number of substances, including fats and cholesterol from the bloodstream. First, the fiber eliminates the bile from the digestive tract in the same way that it eliminates toxins. The loss of bile then prompts the body to increase the production of bile in order to maintain healthy levels. The more bile that is produced, the more cholesterol is used up from the body, which ultimately results in lower cholesterol levels.
Foods High In Fiber
Soluble fiber can be found in many foods such as oatmeal, oat bran, legumes, apples, apricots, bananas, berries, oranges, broccoli, brussels sprouts and carrots. Psyllium husks are another good source of soluble fiber and can be obtained at most health food stores or online. Leafy greens also contain fiber, however, they are richer in insoluble fiber, which helps in removing toxins. Many nuts and seeds also contain good amounts of fiber as well as healthy fats that help reduce cholesterol levels. To make it simple, basically all plant-based foods contain dietary fiber that helps in lowering cholesterol one way or another.
Although fiber is tough and works hard at lowering cholesterol and improving health, it nevertheless is important to compliment the fiber with a healthy diet. Foods high in fat, such as meats, dairy and eggs, can contribute to high cholesterol when eaten in excess amounts.
Basically anything that slows the digestive system should be avoided because a slow digestive system causes the toxins to build up in the body. The body then has to protect itself against these toxins, and it does so by storing the toxins within fat cells. In general the counteractive foods include animal products, most processed foods, baked goods and many cooked foods as well.
The reason these foods slow the digestive system is because the body is not designed to continuously digest animal products or processed foods. Processed foods in particular are foreign to the body and can cause serious harm overtime. As for cooked foods, even if they are plant-based, they do not contain the necessary enzymes required in order to properly digest the food. As a result, undigested food particles get tucked away in fat cells, which ultimately can lead to higher cholesterol levels.