It seems like all of America has the same opinion of fiber, which is to not eat it cause it taste bad or hurts to digest. My theory as to why everyone hates eating fiber is that most fiber is in nutrient dense foods. It just so happens the most commonly eaten items (in America) are processed, refined, or GMO, leaving no fiber behind or really any nutrients. There is also an image of fiber as being broccoli or salads, which most people hate eating (me included!). I am here to answer some questions about this underrated nutrient and also guide you towards fiber that tastes good (or can even be tasteless!).
This post will answer the following questions:
- Why are people not eating enough fiber?
- Why is some fiber indigestible?
- What is the easiest fiber to digest?
- What are the types of fiber?
- What are the health benefits of fiber?
- How much fiber do we need?
- My 5 favorite fiber foods
- Resources for more education on fiber
Why are people not eating fiber?
I know several people who avoid fiber altogether because they think it gives them digestive issues. Some other people, just simply only eat processed foods that have no nutritional fiber in their ingredients. Fiber has not been showcased for all of it goodness and value towards your health. Fiber can help prevent colon cancer, keep you regular, give you energy, balance your blood sugar, and much more.
In fact, fiber was the one thing that healed my gut issues. I was not getting enough prebiotic fiber in my diet and went down the road towards dysbiosis. I NEEDED fiber and had no idea. I am here to tell you, STOP avoiding fiber. It can make your life so much more pleasant when you consume enough variety in your diet.
What are the types of fiber?
- Soluble – Soluble fiber attracts water, creating a gel-like consistency in the digestive system that helps slow down digestion, keeps you feeling full between meals and “regular” – Dr. Axe
- Insoluble – “adds bulk to the stool and helps move food through the gastrointestinal tract. Insoluble fiber is also beneficial for helping clear out carcinogens and unhealthy particles from the GI tract”. – Dr. Axe
What are the health benefits of fiber? (list provided by Dr. Axe)
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Improves digestion
- Helps with weight management
- Can stabilize blood sugar levels
- Keeps you full between meals
Make sure you check out that link from the expert, Dr. Axe on all the benefits of fiber and how they can help prevent disease. He also provides a great list of different foods to get soluble and insoluble fiber into your daily diets.
What is the easiest fiber to digest?
I think this depends on the person, but typically soluble fiber is easier on the stomach for most people. However, we are all different. I tend to enjoy having fiber like SunFiber before bed. Its soluble and helps the good bacteria grow in my gut. I also like Psyllium Husk, Banana Flour, or Acacia. Anything I can mix into water that goes along with all the other fiber I am eating with my meals gets me closer to the recommended amount of fiber I need per day. Try some different ones out and see how they feel for you. Ask your doctor for guidance on which one to start with at your next annual physical.
How much fiber do we need?
I will be honest, most recommended amounts from traditional doctors are too low. They usually say between 25-30 grams per day. But, I believe (just my opinion) that we need at least 50 grams per day. Feel free to research that yourself and to ask your doctor for advice. Its important when wanting to increase your fiber that you go slow and steady and not all in one day. If you consume too much too fast, you will have some bloating and discomfort because your body is not use to it.
My 5 favorite fiber foods:
- Lentils (packed full of protein and fiber also super cheap!)
- Chickpeas (made into a nice hummus)
- Kiwi (have more fiber and potassium than bananas!)
- Apples (the skin is the healthiest part)
In summary, fiber is a nutrient we need for optimal health, prevention, and much more as you read the health benefits above. Its important to make it a staple in your diet for you and your family members. I am providing some more educational material below so you can dive deeper into this topic. I encourage you to take note of how much you are consuming, to see if you are in the range of where you should be or if you need to start supplementing.
Resources for more education on fiber:
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