Quickly: Fiber is a special type of carbohydrate that doesn’t break down into sugar. It has a bunch of health benefits. You should eat more of it.
Fiber is awesomesauce. There are two major types of fiber, and both of them are great. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel, which slows digestion (keeping you full longer), and lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber is famous for keeping you ‘regular.’ It ‘speeds up transit time,’ and prevents constipation. Fiber is also linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and diverticular disease. While chia seeds contain both types of fiber, they’re an especially good source of the insoluble kind.
Are you getting enough? Probably not. Women should consume about 25 grams per day, and men should get about 38 grams per day, but most Americans get just 15 grams. Blah. Luckily, it’s readily available in delicious whole foods like oatmeal, nuts, beans, barley, nuts, fruit, vegetables, brown rice, and…wait for it…chia. But seriously, one tablespoon of chia has almost 20% of your daily-recommended amount of fiber. (That’s a lot).