Your body needs fiber to function properly. If you’re not providing it with enough of this indigestible carbohydrate, you’ll likely experience one of these signs. Although it’s easy to include fiber in your diet, many people still neglect the importance of fiber and end up harming their health.
Moreover, following the trendy low-carb, high-protein diet can result in a decreased fiber intake. And you may also lack fiber if you eat plenty of fast food, regular pasta, white bread, or other refined and processes carbs.
A low fiber intake can lead to various health problems, which, fortunately, can be easily reversed as soon as you start consuming the daily needed amount of fiber.
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This is the most popular sign that your body is lacking fiber. When you are constipated, it means that your stools are dry, hard, and cannot pass or you have less than 3 bowel movements per week.
You can simply end constipation by consuming more fiber, as it helps form softer stools, relieving and preventing constipation. Furthermore, fiber is your gut’s best friend.
According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, dietary fiber consumption can increase stool frequency in those who suffer from constipation, but it might not always enhance painful defecation and stool consistency.
You may gain some extra pounds if you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet. Due to its swelling nature, fiber will make you feel full when you eat, thus preventing you from overeating.
Moreover, fiber-rich foods are usually low in calories and high in water content.
According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a low-fiber high-fat energy-loaded diet is linked to a larger mass of fat and an increased risk of excess adiposity in children.
High levels of cholesterol can indicate a low fiber intake. In fact, fiber boosts good cholesterol (HDL) levels and reduces triglycerides by eliminating excess cholesterol from your system.
Fiber-rich foods can also offer important heart-health benefits, including reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.
According to Current Atherosclerosis Reports, dietary fiber can help reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) along with the risk of coronary heart disease.
High Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetics who have difficulty keeping their blood sugar levels under control should particularly pay close attention to their fiber intake.
Soluble fiber, in particular, slows down the absorption of sugar from the small intestine into the bloodstream, which prevents blood sugar levels from rising quickly, thus keeping them under control.
According to Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, mildly increasing soluble fiber intake enhanced glucose and LDL cholesterol levels in healthy individuals.
Feeling Sleepy after Meals
It’s normal to feel sleepy after devouring a large meal, but if you tend to crave post-meal naps, you should probably start eating more fiber.
Fiber actually plays an important role in maintaining balanced blood sugar levels. For instance, if you have a low-fiber meal, your blood sugar will rise more rapidly. This makes you feel tired or sluggish, which turns on your nap alarm.
Feeling extremely uncomfortable and bloated? Chances are, you’re not eating enough fiber or you’re indulging the wrong food combinations.
How can a lack of fiber in your diet cause bloat? Well, we previously mentioned that fiber is your gut’s dearest friend. It makes sure that food passes steadily and smoothly through your intestines as well as it regulates your digestive system.
So having a low fiber intake can negatively impact your digestion and lead to serious bloating and gas, which in turn can cause stomachaches. But be careful, an excess of fiber can also result in bloating, especially if you don’t drink enough water throughout the day.
Feeling Hungry Soon after Eating
Fiber-rich goodies help you feel full longer and keep hunger away, at least until your next meal. Food that is high in soluble fiber, in particular, creates a feeling of satiety through absorbing water in your digestive tract. However, consuming low-fiber foods, notably processed snacks, will make you hungry sooner than you expect.
To boost your fiber intake, consider eating more nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, veggies, fruits, and whole-grain products, and stay away from processed or refined foods. In case you want to take fiber supplements, make sure to consult your doctor first.
Remember to take it slow when increasing your fiber intake, as doing so too fast in large amounts will only make things worse and lead to new health problems. Allow your body to adjust and drink more water as you eat more fiber to avoid any undesirable issues.