Fiber, not the material that creates your clothes, but the kind that will coat your digestion and cleans your colon. Fiber is an important part of your daily intake and will help you live a long healthy life.
There are two types of fiber, insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fibers absorb water to create a soft bulk and helps facilitate the passage of waste products through the intestine at a rapid rate. It can prevent and help treat constipation, diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids. Additionally, it may lower the risk of colon cancer by diluting the effects of harmful substances ingested.
Examples: rice bran, whole grain, bread, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and the skins of fruits and vegetables.
Soluble fibers form a gel-like structure that decreases the rate of stomach emptying and absorption of sugars from the intestines. By doing so, it helps control blood sugar levels and lower bad cholesterol. Also, when the stomach empties slowly it helps with weight management by giving you a feeling of fullness.
Examples: fruits and vegetables, oat bran, barley, beans, peas, prunes, psyllium, flaxseed.
Ensuring that you are consuming a wide variety of these will help keep your digestive system healthy. It is important to drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly to also help your digestion. If you are having difficult bowel movements avoid using laxatives on a regular basis because they can overstimulate the intestinal muscles causing more problems.
Some people may experience feeling gassy or bloated after eating fiber. Start with a small amount and increase gradually to help your body adjust. A healthy intake of fiber is between 25-45 grams a day, which can be an adjustment.
Fiber can improve your wellbeing in many ways, including promoting intestinal health, decreasing cholesterol, and assisting in weight control.
The benefits you will gain when you are eating adequate fiber include:
You will lose weight; fiber slows the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream balancing glucose which will keep you from feeling hungry and overeating.
You will maintain a healthier weight; research has found that people who eat adequate amounts of daily fiber tend to maintain a more consistent weight.
Cut your risk of type 2 diabetes, due to fibers ability to balance glucose and keep you at a steady weight you will lower your risk.
Lower odds of heart disease, fiber absorbs cholesterol in your system. When you maintain good digestion and elimination the cholesterol goes too.
Healthier gut bacteria, fiber supports the microbiome lowering systemic inflammation.
Reduce risk of cancer, the foods high in fiber are also rich in healthy antioxidants and phytochemicals that support your overall health.
Be more regular, constipation is common in the US. Fiber can ensure that you have healthy elimination.
Foods that are Fiber Friendly:
1 cup Blackberries 3.6 g
1 cup shredded Bok choy, 8 g
1 cup Brussel sprouts 4 g
1 oz. chia seeds 10 g
1 cup chickpeas 6 g
1 handful almonds 4 g
1 cup mung beans 8 g
1 cup raspberries 8 g
1 cup butternut squash 3 g
1 cup sweet peas 8 g
1 cup jicama 6.5 g
1 medium apple 5 g
Experiment with adding different foods into your diet each day. Eat them raw, cooked, blended or juiced on different days. Have fun with it and work towards getting 25-45 grams a day. This small change will help you live your ideal life.