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Fiber is an important part of our diet that is overlooked. With the popularity of fiber supplements and laxatives, we have forgot the importance of consuming fiber from our diet. The average American consumes less fiber than recommended. Adults should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day

Fiber is a substance found in plant matter that our bodies are unable to digest. There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is mostly found in the skins and vegetables. This substance gives skin there tough texture. Soluble fiber is fiber that can absorb water. The substance can be found in fruits, oatmeal, and pectin. It is mostly soft and pliable.

Insoluble fiber is important for our digestive tract. This helps regulate the time waste spends in the colon. In addition, fiber adds bulk to waster in the colon which aid in the prevention of constipation. This may also prevent in the prevention of colon cancer (despite recent reports).

The ability to absorb water gives soluble fiber protective benefits. People who eat diets high in soluble fiber decrease their risk for heart disease and cancer. In the intestine, soluble fiber binds to fatty substances making it impossible for the body to use. These fatty substances may cause heart disease by depositing into the artery walls. Soluble fiber also contributes to the excretion process.

There are many ways you can increase you fiber intake:

* Eat whole grain cereals.
* Eat oatmeal
* Eat brown rice instead of white rice.
* Eat snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables
* Eat whole grain breads and pasta. Choose foods such as whole-wheat spaghetti, bread, and bagels.
* Eat more legumes. Replace some meat dishes with legumes. Alternatively, use them as a side dish.
* Drink orange juice with the pulp still in it.
* When you make breads use whole-wheat flour if allowed.
* Add wheat germ into foods
* Look for statements such as "Good Source of Fiber" or "High in Fiber"