The Absolute Must-Knows About FIBER (plus high fiber foods)

Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. It is naturally found in many fundamental foods. For a well-balanced diet, fiber – both soluble and insoluble – must be regularly consumed to maintain a multitude of bodily functions.

Fiber found in foods that cannot be digested or, if fiber ferments at a later stage in the digestive process, it is called dietary fiber. Dietary Fiber is also known as roughage or bulk and is commonly classified as soluble or insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber is found in oats, fruit, vegetables, certain legumes such as peas or beans, barley and psyllium. In water, soluble fiber forms a gel-like material and in the intestine, absorbs water. This kind of fiber is fermented in the large intestine, provides a tiny bit of energy and plays an important part in regulating blood sugar levels, help lower cholesterol levels, in turn, helping the heart to keep healthy and to promote soft, supple stools.

Insoluble fiber is found in fruit and vegetables, especially the peels and seeds, in the husks and hulls of grains and rice, and the tough skin of beans and nuts. Fiber to the digestive system acts as a bulking agent for matter in the intestines and helps the digestive system to move this matter, declogging any build-up to the point of excretion. It is also useful in maintaining a healthy weight, as it makes one feel full for longer, countering overeating.

Let’s look at high fiber foods that you want to include in your diet.

The 4 Bs: Beans, Berries, Brassica & Bran

Beans or legumes (also peas, chickpeas and lentils) are not only naturally rich in fiber, but is an excellent source of protein, lysine, vitamins and minerals. It is invaluable as a replacement of animal protein in a vegetarian diet. With a wide variety of legumes available, it is easy to include it in any diet in a tasty way and can be used in stews, casseroles and soups or can be made into pastes such as hummus.

Berries are jam-packed with fiber as they contain plenty of little seeds. In addition it contains high amounts of vitamin C, making it a powerful antioxidant and immune booster. Berries can be enjoyed all year-round as it preserves well. Eaten fresh, berries are great, but also, berry preserve and dried or frozen berries can be used as toppings for yogurt, cereal and desserts.

Brassica is a group of veggies that include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. They are full of fiber and have recently enjoyed much attention due to their cancer-protective effects. Easy to include in any diet, raw, cooked, in stir-fry or steamed.

Bran is a powerhouse of fiber. Get your bran!!!  It is the outer layer of grains or rice and is usually insoluble fiber. Bran can be bought in any food-store and easily incorporated in to any diet. Make a habit of using bran by adding it, for example, to pancake batter, a muffin mix, cookie dough, or to hot cereals.

Next Up, Nuts and Seeds

By having a handful of nuts per day, or a generous sprinkle of seeds, it is a great contribution to one’s fiber needs. Furthermore, it is good for the heart and good for the brain. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, a multitude of vitamins and minerals, protein and phytochemicals (non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties). It is an outstanding addition to any diet. Go nuts!

Oh, And Don’t Forget The Fruit, Potatoes, and …

Good old everyday fruit in all it’s colorful splendor should not be overlooked. You have more than enough reason to enjoy fruit in abundance, as it contains not only much-needed fiber, but also an array of important vitamins and minerals. Try and eat fruit every single day. Whether on it’s own, as part of a main meal or as dessert, juiced or dried, eat fruit!

Last but not least, the humble potato, known to us in all it’s cooked shapes and forms from mashed to french fries, cradles a whole load of fiber and nutrients. Remember though that eating the skin once in a while is an added fiber boost.

Leafy greens, pumpkin, seaweed, popcorn and even bark… the list is long and reasons for taking it ample. The average American’s diet contains only half of the required fiber needed for good health. With an endless choice of fiber-rich foods, let’s double-up, put aside the refined stuff and enjoy the multitude of benefits that nature offers.

You can also use fiber powder mix. There are many amazing ones on the market but Garden of Life Super Seed Beyond Fiber mix is our favorite.



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