Top Tips to Add Fiber to Your Diet
May 1, 2019
“You need to eat more fiber” is something you’ve most likely heard before, but do you know why?
What is Fiber?
Fiber is found mainly in unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, granola, yogurt and a variety of snacks. There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. It is important to include both in your diet to reap all the possible health benefits. However, both types are neither digested nor absorbed. So, then what is the purpose?
Benefits of Including Fiber in Your Diet
Heart protection. As the name implies – soluble fiber attracts water and dissolves, making it a gel-like substance. The way this fiber works with your body is like a cycle. The gel substance binds with cholesterol particles and cholesterol-made stomach acids, helping eliminate them from the body. Then, the leftovers are used to make new stomach acids.
Blood sugar regulation. Just like cholesterol, fiber binds to sugar. Since fiber is not digestible, it takes the sugar with it as it goes through the digestive system instead of being absorbed.
Digestive health & weight management. Soluble fiber also slows digestion, allowing your body to digest and absorb everything it can. Fiber is considered bulky, which helps you feel full longer reducing the number of calories you would otherwise consume. It also pushes toxins through the digestive tract more quickly than they would on their own.
Healthier Gut Bacteria. The good bacteria in your gut feeds off fiber, therefore you’re helping them thrive longer.
How Much Fiber Should We Get Each Day?
How to Add Fiber to Your Diet
Choose whole foods. Choosing whole-foods instead of empty carbs ensures that you get fiber in your diet. Try beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Whole grains instead of refined or processed grains. If the whole grain is intact, it retains its fiber rich coating. Oatmeal, barley, quinoa and wheat berries are all good whole-grain options.
Load up on veggies. Including non-starchy veggies in your meals helps you get all the nutrients with fewer calories. If you have a hard time eating the veggies on your plate, try to eat majority of them first.
Snacks. Believe it or not, popcorn is one of the best snack options (without all the salt and butter). It is a whole grain rich in fiber. To make it healthy, try to air pop it instead of using microwave bags of popcorn. Your best snack option for fiber is fruit since most of them are fiber rich. Pears, berries and applies are all fiber-rich fruits that will also help you feel full longer! Chia seeds also provide high amounts of fiber, minerals and protein.
Supplement Your Diet
While you should try to obtain most of your daily fiber intake from healthy, fiber-rich foods, it is okay to supplement your diet to reach the daily goal if you drink a lot of water. Psyllium, oat bran, prune & senna, fenugreek & anise and protein bars are easy fiber fills to add into your daily routine.
Give them a try today!