Fiber is a crucial part of our diet for helping with digestion. It is normally composed of two different varieties soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol and helps to slow the emptying of food from the stomach. Insoluble fiber actually helps move substances more smoothly through the large intestines. Eating fiber then, helps you eat less, feel full, and avoid constipation. Adults normally need between 25-40 grams of fiber a day, and most do not get an accurate amount.
Fiber can be taken as a supplement and has been advertised most frequently in the last few years in tasteless fiber-rich crackers and cereals, but there are tons of great natural foods that already contain even better sources of fiber. Vegetables like artichokes, broccoli, peas, and brussel sprouts are all generally thought of as good healthy foods and fall into this category. Fruits like Raspberries, blackberries, avocados, and pears are great food with good sources of fiber as well. Normally everyone thinks of fruits and vegetables for high fiber foods, but there are many other foods that are great sources of fiber.
Legumes and Nuts
Most types of beans are very high in fiber; this includes things such as black beans, chickpeas, soybeans, lima beans, refried beans, and lentils. Depending on the variety, one cup cooked is between 8-19 grams of fiber, which can give half of a daily requirement of fiber. Beans are also great because they are so easy to cook with and mix into various meals and appetizers. All nuts have a good helping of fiber as well. Almonds, for instance, have about 4 grams of fiber per serving.
Out of all fruits, berries have the highest amounts of fiber. Raspberries win with a whopping 11 grams of fiber in just one cup.
Pumpkin and Squash
Pumpkin are squash are another surprisingly great source of fiber. Pumpkin is often forgotten after fall, but should be remembered for their incredible 8g of fiber per one cup serving. Squash has a source of about 10g of fiber.
Grains- Wheat and oat products
Whole grain pasta or whole grain breads are great for digestive health. One cup of cooked pasta has about 6 grams of fiber. Oats are whole grains and can be found in things like oatmeal. Oats and beans contain the soluble fiber which helps promote satiety. Oatmeal contains great amounts of vitamins, but also high quantities of fiber and a low glycemic index which can help prevent diabetes.
Spinach, collard greens, and kale
Green leafy vegetables are also great for health. These vegetables have great sources of vitamins as well as fiber to promote overall digestive and heart health.
Apples and oranges
Apples and oranges are quick and easy snacks that we usually do not think of as good sources of fiber. Most are aware that apples truly are good for your health they are known for reducing bad cholesterol LDL and helping to promote regular bowel habits due to their great source of fiber. They contains about 4 grams of fiber each, but make sure you eat the skin which contains the majority.
Chia Seeds, for instance, are a great additions to yogurt, oatmeal, or rice dishes. They can also be used to thicken smoothies or make pudding, and just one tablespoon contains 6 grams of fiber. Bulgur wheat is a type of bran that can be added to soups, pilafs, or served as a side. It contains 8 grams of fiber.
Getting a good daily amount of fiber does not have to be painful or disgusting these foods are all great sources of fiber and great regular additions to your diet to help keep your digestion smooth and improve satiety.