Fiber

Fruits

When we divide food into "macronutrients," we think of fat, protein and carbohydrates. These are the larger nutrient categories that nutritionists and dieters like to evaluate and dissect searching for some magic ratio.  The latter of the three, carbohydrates, has gotten a bad rap over the past few years, with many people thinking that any carbohydrate is bad for you. In fact, carbohydrates are absolutely essential to the body's key processes. The important thing is to know which type of carbohydrate you are ingesting.

Carbohydrates are typically broken down into sugars during digestion. However fiber is the part of a plant that can't be broken down by the body, and passes through relatively unchanged. 

Only about 10% of the population gets the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, which is 20-30 grams per day. 

The easiest way to boost dietary fiber intake is by adding more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your plate!

Fiber is a necessary part of the diet to maintain gut health.

Processed foods - think white bread, plain pasta, pressed/strained vegetable juices have had their fiber removed.

Look for "Whole Grain ____ " as the first ingredient in baked goods, breakfast cereals and pastas to improve fiber intake. Even if a label says "Whole Wheat," if the first ingredient isn't "Whole Grain Wheat," it's missing some essential fiber.

Fiber found in whole foods is divided into two categories: Soluble and Insoluble.

 

Soluble Fiber typically comes from the inner flesh of fruits and vegetables.

It dissolves in water, turning into a gel in the digestive tract.

 

Soluble fiber in your diet can:

  • Improve heart health by regulating cholesterol levels

  • Reduce blood pressure

  • Improve blood glucose levels

  • Improve digestion

  • Promote gut health, supporting healthy hormone production

If you aren't able to increase your fiber intake just yet, try adding a high quality superfood powder to your day! These contain essential phytonutrients to nourish a healthy ecosystem. 

Insoluble Fiber does not dissolve in water as it passes through the body.

It adds bulk to digested food products, decreasing constipation.

 

There are many other benefits of insoluble fiber:

  • 🟡Slows down the absorption of sugar and other carbohydrates

  • Makes you feel fuller and more satisfied during and after meals

  • 🧹Absorbs and sweeps away toxins and carcinogens in the digestive tract

  • May reduce diverticulosis and other GI issues by improving gut motility

You can get the most bang for your buck with these TEN whole foods rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber!

Pear
Healthy Bowl
Avocado

Food Sources of Fiber include:

  • Beans: black, kidney, white, lima, edamame

  • 🥑Avocado

  • 🟢Green Peas

  • Pears with skin

  • 🟡Lentils

  • Apples with skin

  • Flax seeds

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Dried figs, prunes, apricots & dates (watch for added sugars)

  • 🧡Passionfruit

The statements in these articles are based on research and personal knowledge, but in NO WAY constitute medical advice. Please consult with a physician to discuss how any supplements will interact with any prescribed mediation.