Adding more fiber to your diet may seem difficult, but there simple guidelines can help eat a healthy amount of fiber every day. It may seem like you have to memorize the top 20 fiber-rich foods, but this is most definitely not the case. Since the average American only consumes about 16 grams of fiber per day, which is about half of the recommended daily intake (RDI), we encourage you to use the tips in this article to help increase your fiber intake.
What Is Fiber?
Dietary fiber is material from plant cells that cannot be broken down by the enzymes in the human digestive system. There is insoluble fiber and soluble fiber, each serving a different purpose.
Soluble Fiber: Water-soluble fiber absorbs water during the digestive process, ultimately working to decrease blood cholesterol levels and increase stool bulk. This type of fiber can be found in vegetables, barley, oats, legumes (lentils, peas, and beans), and fruits (apples, oranges, and grapefruit).
Insoluble Fiber: Water-insoluble fiber does not change as it passes through the digestive tract. Promoting regular intestinal movement and contents, insoluble fiber can be found in vegetables, fruits with edible peels or seeds, bulgur wheat, rolled oats, buckwheat, brown rice, or corn meal.
Get To Know Your Seeds:
It is wise to have flaxseeds and chia seeds in your pantry at all times. Flaxseeds, when they are ground, contain a healthy mix of insoluble and soluble fiber. With a slight nutty flavor, ground flaxseeds can be incorporated into smoothies, homemade energy balls, oatmeal, or they can even be added to a glass of water. Chia seeds, on the other hand, do not need to be ground, but it is advisable to soak them for optimal digestion. You can add them to smoothies, salads, or mix them with liquid to create a pudding.
Eat The Rainbow:
You can bank on fruits and vegetables containing insoluble and soluble fiber. Eat red, purple, green, orange, yellow, and blue fruits and vegetables. It is common to think that you eat a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables, but the reality is that most people don’t. Additionally, people tend to eat produce items that are familiar to them, but there are so many beneficial, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables out there! Encourage toxin elimination and healthy stools by consuming produce items like chard, artichokes, kale, a variety of beans, collards (not cooked in bacon fat), spring mixed greens, romaine, avocados, acorn squash, kiwi, papaya, mango, berries, and split peas.
Always Choose Whole Grains:
Due to the minimal processing of whole grains, the grains are left in tact, whereas the heavy processing of refined grains strips them of their fiber-rich hulls that contain essential vitamins. By stripping the hulls, refined grains have longer shelf lives, which is why they are in processed foods. The downfall to this is that they are devoid of nutrients and end up being simple carbs, which can spike blood glucose levels. Try to focus on buckwheat, bulgur wheat, barley, amaranth, millet, farro, and freekeh for healthy fiber intake.