How much fiber are you getting in each day?
According to the Institute of Medicine, women need at least 25 grams of fiber per day and men need 38 grams, while studies show that the average adult is only getting about 15 grams per day. So where does fiber come from? It comes from plants! You can get fiber from foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans. When we eat fiber it passes through our digestive system without being broken down very much, unlike other components in our food. This makes it very low in calories, with many health benefits. We wanted to share some of those wonderful benefits with you today!
1. Heart Disease - Because diets high in fiber can help reduce bad cholesterol levels, it has also been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease. Studies have also shown that high fiber foods may be helpful in reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
2. Diabetes - High fiber foods can help slow the absorption of sugar and improve overall blood sugar levels. This can be helpful in preventing diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
3. Helps Keep You Regular- Fiber increases the mass in stool and softens it, making it easier to pass, so it can help ward off constipation. Alternatively fiber can help a loose stool by solidifying it because the fiber absorbs water and adds bulk.
4. Aids In Overall Bowel Health - Eating a high fiber diet and having regular bowel movements may reduce the risk of developing ailments such as hemorrhoids or the intestinal condition diverticulitis. It may even help reduce the risk of developing colon and rectal cancers.
5. Weight Control/Loss - Because fiber is filling and helps you feel full longer, is basically calorie free, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and helps keep you regular, getting enough fiber can play a big role in losing or maintaining weight.
So how can you include more fiber in your diet? Many of the recipes found on our site are naturally high in fiber, like the chia seed pudding shown above, but here are some helpful hints too!
- Read labels to make sure you're eating only whole grain products that contains the natural fiber from the grains.
- Opt for eating whole fruits instead of juice. Hint- smoothies are a great way to increase fiber intake. You can even further boost the fiber in your smoothies, or any other foods for that matter, by adding some NuNaturals Oat Fiber! Check out our recipes section for some great smoothie ideas!
- Replace meat in some meals with Beans or Lentils, or toss them in soups and stews in addition to meat.
- Eat more veggies. You can snack on raw veggies with a high fiber dip like hummus.
- Incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet by adding them to fiber-filled salads or just eat them alone. You can also snack on air popped popcorn. Dress up your popcorn with your favorite spice blend and a little olive oil for a really satisfying yet healthy snack!
We hope this gives you some food for thought about what fiber can do for you, and helps get you a step ahead in achieving your health goals!