7 Reasons to Eat More Fiber

Plus, we're sharing a no-bake cookie recipe that puts bran muffins to shame.

February 3, 2015
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Upping your fiber consumption could save your life. Every 10 gram-per-day increase in fiber is associated with a 10 percent decease in risk of death, according to research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

"Dietary fiber intake might lower all-cause mortality rates by decreasing the risk of major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and major cancers, which are notorious as the major killers worldwide," says Yong-Bing Xiang, MD, professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine in China.

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More: Eat 5 Servings of Fruits and Veggies to Live Longer

And fiber does more than just help you live longer. The researchers reported these 6 reasons to love fiber:

  1. Reduces your cholesterol.
  2. Lowers your blood pressure.
  3. Helps you lose weight, since fiber helps control appetite.
  4. Improves your sensitivity to insulin.
  5. Reduces exposure to carcinogens in your bowels.
  6. Increases your levels of antioxidants.

"Fiber has a multitude of health benefits, but the only way to really get this vital nutrient is by eating unrefined fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans," says Thomas Campbell, MD, author of The Campbell Plan. "I see so many patients with fiber-deficient diets diagnosed with diabetes, constipation, hemorrhoids, and many other diseases, and I'm amazed by how little people know about this wonder nutrient."

More: The Top Longveity-Boosting Foods (Are You Eating Enough?)

Sneak more fiber into your diet with Karen Campbell's recipe for Chocolate No-Bake Cookies.

"This is an old Campbell family recipe. It makes for a supereasy, filling, fiber-rich dessert to pack in kids' lunches," she says.

 

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup sucanat or packed brown sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup nondairy milk
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients but the oats. Stir the ingredients together over medium-low heat until combined and the sweetener is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the oats to the mixture in the saucepan, stirring until combined. Allow the cookie dough to cool enough to handle by hand.
  4. Scoop the dough by generous rounded tablespoonfuls into individual cookies. Roll each cookie by hand into a ball.
  5. Cool to room temperature before storing.