Why fiber is important in your diet? Fiber helps to maintain a healthy weight, lower cholesterol levels, helps control blood cholesterol levels, helps to maintain bowel movements and is important for the healthy functionality of your digestive system.
So, what are the common high fiber foods we should be eating daily? Dietary fiber is found specifically in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Another term used for dietary fiber is roughage or bulk from parts of plant food your body really cannot digest or absorb. Juicing your fruits and vegetables is a great way to consume your food. However, one of the reasons why juicing may not be ideal for someone is because when you pulverize or blend fruits and vegetables in your juicer you lose the roughage from that fruit and vegetable.
Our bodies break down and absorb the food that we eat from proteins, carbs and fats, however fiber isn’t digested easily by our body. It passes through our stomach, our small intestine then our colon, and out of our bodies.
Soluble vs insoluble fiber – Do you know the difference?
There are two types: soluble and insoluble: Soluble Fiber is found in oats, peas, apples, beans, carrots and barley. It is known to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
Insoluble fiber is found in whole wheat flour, nuts, beans, vegetables, green peas, potatoes. It is the type that helps to push the movement of material through the digestive system, and it also helps to increase stool bulk.
What is the daily recommended fiber for adults?
With such a range of healthy foods making it easy to consume your fiber requirements, getting your daily dose shouldn’t be too hard.
- Women- 50 Years or younger- 25 grams daily
- Women- 50 years or older- 21 grams daily
- Men- 50 years or younger- 38 grams daily
- Men- 50 years or older- 30 grams daily
Whole foods provide more fiber nutrients than a supplement such as Metamucil or Fibercon. But if you don’t get enough from your whole foods then a supplement can assist with what you aren’t getting from your food. And we know that eating the right amount of fiber-rich foods every day isn’t attainable or realistic for a lot of people. This is where a supplement comes in handy.
TIP: “Drinking water before eating
your meal will help you not only eat
less food, but it will help you digest your meal
better, every time!” – Obi Obadike CFT, SFN, M.S.
Adding Fiber to your diet
Easy ways to to add fiber to your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack meals include:
- Choosing a high fiber breakfast cereal that has at least five grams per serving
- Consume half of your grains to be whole grains such as pasta, brown rice, wild rice, etc. Make those grains to be at least two grams of fiber per serving. You can eat this for lunch or dinner as part of those meals
- If you eat fruits and vegetables with at least half of your meals within the day and try to get at least five or more servings of that daily
- Consuming snacks like raw vegetables, low fat/low calorie popcorn, low fat nuts. These are snacks that hold you between the bigger meals like lunch or dinner and it helps you to get to the recommended daily fiber intake.
When you’re getting enough high fiber foods in your diet make sure you are drinking plenty of water. It works successfully in the body when it absorbs water while helping to make your stool soft and bulky. Fiber is necessary evil to stay healthy on the inside as well as the outside.
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