Fiber plays and important role in digestive health. It provides health protective properties that promote regular bowel movements, reduces heart disease, improves blood sugar control, reduces adult onset diabetes, and will aid in your weight loss endeavors – Yippee!
The recommended daily requirements for Fiber are 25-30 grams per day. Did you know the average amount consumed by most people in America is less than 10-15 grams per day? Those numbers are staggering but believable considering what American’s eat on a daily basis.
You should try to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods daily. Fruits, veggies and legumes are excellent sources. Nutrition experts agree that fiber from natural food sources is better than processed foods that contain fiber.
There are two types of fiber, Soluble and Insoluble fiber. Both are important in your overall wellness and a healthy diet should include both.
Insoluble fibers are essential for digestive health; it is a natural laxative, because of its ability to absorb water and increase fecal bulk, which makes bowel movements easier to pass. This type of fiber has cancer fighting benefits because it leaves less time for substances that could cause cancer time to have contact with the lining of the bowel.
Soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol and stabilizes blood glucose levels. Soluble fiber forms a gel in water, which softens the stool and slows down stomach emptying. This type of fiber aids in better digestion that means the possibility of no INDIGESTION.
By now, you may be wondering what foods can supply my daily requirements of 25-30 grams of fiber intake. Below you will find a list of food items that you can choose from. You will find an abundance of healthy food items that you already know about and some that may surprise you. Some of the fiber amounts may differ slightly from one nutrition source to another, but hopefully you will find the list below beneficial for starters.
Bran Cereal’s ¼ cup -1 cup can supply anywhere from 3-13 grams of fiber. Opt for heart healthy versions. Whereas regular cereal supplies zero fiber
Breads and cracker’s made from whole grain flours such as whole-wheat, rye; oats and corn are high in fiber.
Pasta made with whole-wheat supplies 6 grams of fiber.
Barley ½ cup -4.2 grams, that’s more that brown rice which supplies 5.5 for 1 cup uncooked rice.
Fresh fruits with edible skins are the best for supplying fiber. A medium pear or apple will get you 4 grams of fiber while a medium orange or banana will supply 3 grams. In addition, do not forget those delicious berries: Strawberries 1 cup packs 3 grams while a single cup of raspberries packs a whopping 9 grams, blueberries 1.2 cups -1.9 grams.
How about trying dried fruits, 12 halves of apricots supplies 4 grams, seedless raisin’s
¼ cup supply 1.5 grams, 5 prunes 3 grams, 2 figs 4 grams.
Vegetables are not only rich with vitamins and minerals they also supply fiber. A cup of raw broccoli supplies 2.6 grams, 1 large potato with skin has 5 grams, 1 cup green beans 4 grams, peas and carrots 2.5 grams, corn, peppers and lettuce each supply 2 grams. Acorn squash 7 grams WOW.
Who could forget the legume? Refried beans ½ cup 7 grams, chickpeas in a salad adds 7 grams of fiber, Hummus ½ cup 6 grams, Kidney beans ½ cup 6 grams.
Nuts and seeds also are good sources for a fiber rich snack. 24 almonds and 1 ounce of sunflower seeds have 3 grams of fiber, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter which not only supplies protein has 2 grams of fiber.
Note: When adding high fiber foods, be sure to do so gradually and increase your intake of water to at least eight glasses a day. This will help to avoid digestive discomfort such as diarrhea and excess intestinal gas. Consuming more than 50 grams can cause toxicity if not accompanied by adequate water intake. This usually happens when people are consuming fiber supplements.
Foods rich in Fiber provide a sense of satiety (fullness) which helps you eat less. This makes your digestive track use more energy, and your body will burn additional calories thus aiding in weight loss. It can take time to reach your desired weight, but it is much better than starving yourself. The bottom line is if you include foods rich in Soluble and Insoluble fiber, your digestive system and your overall health will improve. So reach for healthy foods rich in fiber.