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3 new reasons to eat fiber-rich foods

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We know that the fiber found in legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains keeps us regular, but recent studies have uncovered some other-perhaps surprising-benefits.

Better sleep: High-fiber foods increase the amount of deep, restorative sleep during the night. Even one day of low-fiber intake, combined with high-fat foods, may reduce quality of sleep, according to research at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

Healthier lungs: At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, researchers found that people with the highest fiber intake have the healthiest lungs and the lowest risk for lung disease.

Less breast cancer: Women who eat high-fiber foods during their teens and 20s have up to 24 percent less risk for the disease, according to research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Previous studies have found that high-fiber foods also reduce risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.