Less than half of American adults get the recommended amount of fiber every day. Research continues to show how important fiber is to our health.
Sufficient fiber intake helps healthy digestion, heart health, regular bowel movements, stable blood sugar levels and weight loss. A lack of fiber in the diet may cause stomach problems, abdominal pain and discomfort or poor intestinal health.
What is fiber?
Dietary fiber is not only contained in supplemental beverages such as Metamucil or Benefiber. It is found in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. This is the part of these plants that cannot be digested and passed by the human body. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber can absorb water during digestion. It can be completely or partially soluble in water and may form a gel-like substance in the intestine. This is essentially a lubricant for the digestive tract, allowing the contents to pass more easily and comfortably.
Insoluble fiber does not change as it passes through the digestive system. When it is formed in the intestine, it helps increase the volume of stool, thereby making it easier to move in the body. This fiber is especially useful when you want a regular bowel movement.
Why is fiber important?
Fully prove the benefits of getting enough fiber. The fiber in fruits can help improve intestinal problems, prevent serious diseases and promote long-term weight management. Sufficient fiber intake may also help maintain mood and healthy aging.
Fiber helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. This is the key to supporting most of the main functions that are vital to the body. Long-term lack of fiber can cause disease.
How much fiber do I need every day?
Generally speaking, women need about 25 grams of fiber per day. Men need 38 grams. If you are a calorie counter, the School of Nutrition and Nutrition recommends that you consume 14 grams for every 1,000 calories you consume.
Keep in mind that this may vary depending on your age and health status. To know how much fiber is best for you, consult your doctor or registered dietitian, who can provide personalized advice based on your unique needs.
Although 25-38 grams per day may seem like a lot, focusing on increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables is a specific way to increase your fiber intake.
Continuously making subtle, realistic changes to your diet, instead of focusing too much on a specific number of grams, can help you develop a lasting diet and eat a diet rich in fiber.
Which foods are high in fiber?
The following are some high-fiber foods that you might consider eating more to increase your daily intake, ranking from most fiber to least fiber.
- 10 grams of avocado
- Raspberries, 8 grams per cup
- 5.5 g of pears
- Banana 3g
- Oranges, 2.3 grams
- Artichoke hearts, 14 grams per cup
- Green peas, 9 grams per cup
- Broccoli, 5 grams per cup
- Brussels sprouts, 4 grams per cup
Other high-fiber foods
- Lentils, 16 grams cooked per cup
- Chickpeas, 12 grams per cup
- Chia seeds, 10 grams per 2 tablespoons
How to get more fiber
By now, you may have been convinced that fiber is good for you, but you may want to know how to increase your intake. Here are some tips to make the diet contain more fiber.
- Start with breakfast. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber seeds (for example, chia or flaxseed) in your morning diet to get your right foot off the car with your fiber intake throughout the day. Add spinach or kale to scrambled eggs. Try adding sliced strawberries, oats, chia or flax seeds to Greek yogurt. Add fresh blueberries to a bowl of oatmeal.
- Exchange your side. Are you eating out? Try replacing one side of the French fries or mashed potatoes with a mixed vegetable salad or fruit cup. If you want to eat something hot, try switching to a carbohydrate source that provides more fiber, such as beans or steamed vegetables.
- Rethink your snacks. Getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day can be difficult, but a good way to start including them in your diet is through snacking. Baby carrots, thinly sliced strawberries, grapes or celery are great snacks that you can carry or carry around.
- Take it easy. If you start to increase your fiber intake, the key is to start slowly and gradually reach the recommended intake (or your own personal goal). Increasing water intake and increasing fiber intake are also important to ensure that you do not cause intestinal discomfort. There is too much fiber, so it is best to stick to the recommended dosage unless otherwise directed by a healthcare professional.
These are just some ideas to get you started. As you use more fiber in your daily work, you will be able to see things that are more practical for you and your lifestyle.
Fiber is a key component of health. It has been shown to improve digestion, protect the heart and support bacteria living in the intestines. Although most Americans do not get enough fiber, it is possible to increase their intake by making small changes to their diet and lifestyle.
When increasing fiber intake, it is important to start slowly and increase fluid intake. It is best to consult your doctor or registered dietitian before changing your treatment plan, especially if you have a medical condition.
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What are the benefits of eating more fiber in this article? First appeared on BrainMD Health Blog.