Fiber is very important to our bodies, yet most people do not have adequate fiber in their diet. They probably consume about ½ of what is needed to make your body run as efficiently as possible.
Another name for fiber is roughage, which means it is the part of the plant that we cannot digest. It travels through our digestive systems absorbing water, and toxins and aiding in the elimination process. Fiber is mostly found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
There are two main types of fiber: Fiber containing foods generally contain both insoluble and soluble but in uneven amounts.
Soluble – Soluble fiber dissolves in water, changes in the digestive tract where it is fermented by bacteria. It because gelatinous when water is absorbed. It helps move bulk through the digestive tract and controls the acidity levels in the intestines. They bind with fatty acids and they slow down the emptying rate of the stomach which prevents blood sugar spikes. Fermented by the gut bacteria, improving immune function, digestive, and overall health.
Food sources of soluble fiber are legumes. Kidney beans, pinto beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, apples, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, prunes, oatmeal and whole wheat bread.
Insoluble - It does not dissolve in water and does not change in form as it is digested. Fermented by bacteria in the colon. Promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation and speeds up the elimination process.
Food sources of insoluble fiber are vegetables, root vegetable skins, fruit skins, whole-wheat products, wheat bran, corn bran, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Good sources of both soluble and insoluble oat fiber, oat bran, psyllium husk, and flax seed. Make sure you purchase flax see whole, and grind as needed and keep it in the refrigerator. Flax seed's oils (another benefit of flax seed) are kept best when are not exposed to heat, light or air.
Benefits of Eating Fiber:
- Eating fiber helps with the elimination process. It removes the toxins in the form of waste out of our bodies. Promotes bowel movements, prevents constipation and may help reduce the risk of developing colitis and hemorrhoids.
-Without proper elimination wastes and toxins can stay in your intestines and be re-absorbed into your body.
- The consumption of soluble fiber helps control your cholesterol levels, thus helping protect you against heart disease.
- People that have diabetes who consume adequate fiber tend to need less insulin than those who don’t, it can help slow down the absorption of sugar preventing spikes in your blood sugar.
- It can help with weight loss; it promotes a feeling of fullness after meals without adding calories to the diet.
- It may help lower cholesterol. See study here.
Women: 25 grams
Men: 38 grams
Women (50 plus): 21 grams
Men (50 plus): 30 grams
Some people are allergic to a lot of nuts and seeds and some of the higher fiber foods. The following are foods that are less allergenic foods.
1. Apples 2. Pears 3. Berries 4. Artichokes 5. Potatoes 6. Swede and Other Root Vegetables 7. Broccoli 8. Green Beans 9. Pumpkin 10. Zucchini 11. Peas 12. Lentils 13. Quinoa
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