Growing up I would always hear my grandparents say, “eat more #fiber“, but why? Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Fiber is commonly classified as soluble (it dissolves in water) or insoluble (it doesn’t dissolve):
- Soluble fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
- Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber.
Benefits of a high fiber diet
- Normal bowel movements
- Maintains bowel health
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- helps control blood sugar levels
- assists in maintaining healthy weight
Age 50 or younger if your a man you should get at least 38 grams a day and a women should get at least 25 grams a day. But if you 50 or older, and your a man, you should get 30 grams a day and a women should get 21 grams a day.
If your not getting enough fiber every day, then you can boost your intake by eating fruits, veggies, beans and other legumes, nuts and seeds. Refined or processed foods — such as canned fruits and vegetables, pulp-free juices, white breads and pastas, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber. The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content. Similarly, removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content.
High-fiber foods are good for your health. But adding too much fiber too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change. And remember to drink plenty of water.