You’ve probably heard that you should eat plenty of high-fiber foods, but you may be wondering why fiber is important.
Fiber plays many roles in your health, especially your digestive and intestinal health.
When preparing your meals, make sure you have plenty of high fiber foods on your plate to aid your digestion, avoid blood sugar spikes that can make you feel less than your best, and make sure you do You will feel beautiful and full longer.
Read on to find out why it is so important and how you can make sure you are getting enough fiber at every meal.
Why fiber is important for daily consumption
Called fiber, or dietary fiber, are vegetable carbohydrates that cannot be broken down into sugar molecules. Fiber is found in whole plant-based foods and acts like a broom that gently brushes your bowels.
Supports stable blood sugar levels
Eating enough fiber has many health benefits, especially for our digestive systems. Fiber slows digestion, which can slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, creating a vehicle for stabilizing blood sugar.
Eating high fiber whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, which are also good sources of carbohydrates, will help prevent blood sugar spikes, which can make you feel worse and contribute to other health complications as well.
Helps you stay full
Because of the way fiber slows digestion, it also plays a role in helping your body to signal that you are full.
Helps your body remove waste
Fiber, especially insoluble fiber, acts like a small broom that can sweep bacteria away from your bowels and colon, build up in your colon, and reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Another digestive benefit of getting enough fiber in your diet is the movement of your bowels. This will help you maintain regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Cultivate a healthy gut
In addition to the digestive health benefits, getting adequate fiber is good for your entire body! We know that the bulk of our immune system resides in our gut, so it’s so important that we take care of our gut health by consuming enough probiotic or prebiotic foods that promote healthy bacteria, regular bowel movements, and regulate blood sugar levels enable better nutrient absorption.
Protects your heart health and cancer prevention
Fiber plays a role in heart health – in short, when you digest food you need bile acids, which are mostly made up of cholesterol.
Your liver draws cholesterol from your bloodstream to make bile acids, which can reduce the amount of LDL. Remember that LDL is the cholesterol that is more closely linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, so it’s important to watch out for your LDL as well as HDL.
Fiber also plays a role in preventing cancer or reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.
How to get plenty of high fiber foods with every meal
Using our system to prepare well-balanced meals will help you ensure that you have plenty of high-fiber foods on your plate with every meal. In general, 30-38g of fiber per day is the goal for the health benefits listed above. Some people thrive at a higher intake, while others may need a little less due to certain health conditions. By learning about some of the common sources of fiber you can make sure you get the high fiber foods you need with every meal and find easy ways to add them when you find you don’t have any.
Types of fibers
In general, there are some types of fiber known as soluble and insoluble that are found in many plant foods. Animal products such as dairy products, fish, chicken and fats do not contain any fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water. As it moves through your digestive system, it is fermented by bacteria and is typically hydrophilic, which means it loves water. This type of fiber absorbs water and becomes gel-like. Do you remember making chia seed pudding? Chia seeds are a great source of soluble fiber!
In particular, soluble fiber can lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and improve overall digestive and immune health.
Great sources of soluble fiber are:
- most of the vegetables
- sweet potato
- dried figs
- Chia seeds
- Remember flea seeds
- and more
Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water, so it doesn’t change as it travels through your digestive system. This means that it does not absorb water like soluble fiber and becomes gel-like, but remains the same and, like soluble fiber, can also be fermented by bacteria in the large intestine.
Insoluble fiber promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the bulk of the stool, speeding up the elimination of waste by the colon, and maintaining the pH of the bowel.
Many whole foods that contain insoluble fiber also contain soluble fiber.
Great sources of insoluble fiber are:
- Bran cereal
- most whole grains
- Vegetables like okra and corn
- and more
Now that you know why fiber is important to your health, you might be thinking, “Well, I saw a commercial about adding powdered fiber to my water so I could make sure I was eating enough fiber and reap the benefits easily. ”First things first, if you can get fiber from whole food sources, this is the best option possible.
We’re still learning how whole foods work synergistically from the various nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber in a whole food. Eating whole foods as the main source of fiber instead of supplements also promotes healthy relationship with food, promotes healthy cooking, and challenges you to practice what you are learning!
Fiber supplements really should be the last resort after you’ve exhausted whole foods high in fiber and / or if your doctor says you have a health condition that requires you to consume frequently. When reaching for a fiber supplement, check with your dietitian to make sure which option is best for you. Always look for organic varieties, nutritional supplements that are USP certified, and follow your nutritionist or doctor’s advice when taking them.
Now What To Do When You Know Why Fiber Is Important
Now that you know why fiber is important, the first step is to stock your pantry and refrigerator with some high fiber foods so you can have them on hand for your meals. As you prepare each of your meals, check your plate to see which foods are good sources of fiber. If you are missing fiber, refer to the list to add a few. You can easily remember which high fiber foods can be easily added to different types of meals!