In my practice, I get a lot of questions about fiber. There are so many misconceptions around fiber intake and one of the biggest is that people believe we need to consume artificial products that contain powdered fiber and fillers. That is not the case. We get fiber from our food!
Your body rids toxins and hormones with fiber, making its intake critical for good health. Healthy populations eat 75 grams of fiber daily but in order to have a healthy diet you should aim for 45 grams daily. Dietary fiber, the type of fiber we should be eating, can only be found in plant products and can be consumed in two ways – insoluble and soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber does not absorb or dissolve in water. It passes through our digestive system very close to its original form. Insoluble fiber offers many benefits to intestinal health, including a reduction in the risk and occurrence of hemorrhoids and constipation. The scientific names for insoluble fibers include cellulose and some hemicelluloses. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, wild rice, wheat germ, buckwheat, corn meal, millet, whole-wheat, and rice bran.
Soluble fiber breaks down or dissolves in water. Soluble fiber moderates blood glucose levels and lowering cholesterol. The scientific names for soluble fibers include pectins, gums, mucilages, and some hemicelluloses. Soluble fiber is found in raw fruits and vegetables, oats, bran, barley, legumes, and beans.
If you have a low fiber diet try starting with just a couple of the suggested foods on the list below. Start with just a 1/4 cup of beans and a couple pieces of fresh fruit a day and your system will eventually get used to a whole food way of living. If you have a serious digestive disorder speak with your doctor first before beginning any new diet changes. If you are already consuming a high fiber diet here are some suggestions for you so that you can be sure you are getting your daily 45 grams!
- 1 cup boiled lentils (15.6g)
- 1/2 cup pinto refried beans (11g)
- 4 oz. dried figs (10.5g)
- 1 oz. roasted pumpkin seeds (10.2g)
- 1 cup raspberries (9g)
- 2 oz. corn pasta, cooked (7.9g) Non GMO
- 1/2 cup baked beans (7g)
- 1/2 cup chick peas (7g)
- 3/4 cup blackberries (7g)
- 1/2 cup navy beans (6.7g)
- 10 dried prunes (6.1g)
- 1 kiwi (5g)
- 1 unpeeled pear (4.5g)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, cooked (4.2g)
- 1 oz. sunflower seeds (4g)
- 1 unpeeled medium apple (3.7g)
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