Did you know adding extra fiber to your diet not only helps fill you up without filling you out, but fibrous foods also take longer to chew, giving your brain time to get the signal that you have had enough to eat. Research also shows that individuals who eat a high-fiber diet have a
40 percent lower risk of heart disease. Fiber helps lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels, and helps prevent colon cancer.
The daily recommend intake for fiber is 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day from whole fruits and
vegetables, nuts, and seeds (32g actually seems to be the ideal number).
Unfortunately, most Americans get only about half that when not on a diet and even less when dieting, especially on low-carb diets. This number can easily be obtained simply by eating two portions of vegetable and fruit a day.
Soluble fiber vs. insoluble fiber
Soluble fiber, like that found in cucumbers, blueberries,
beans, and nuts, dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down your digestion. This
helps you to feel full longer and is one reason why fiber helps with weight
Insoluble fiber, found in foods like dark green leafy
vegetables, green beans, celery, and carrots, does not dissolve at all and
helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move
through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.
Many whole foods, like fruits and vegetables,
naturally contain both soluble and
While fiber may be good for blood sugar, grains are not and may worsen
health conditions like diabetes.
Before you stock up on Bran muffins, whole grains, and
cereals, these grains may actually be damaging to your gut. Grains are poor sources of
vitamins and minerals compared to fruits and vegetables. The high-fiber bran portion of
grain – a key part that makes it a whole grain --
actually contains many of the anti-nutrients. Substances in grains, including gliadin and lectins, may
increase intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut can cause
digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal cramps, as well as cause
or contribute to fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain,
and food allergies.
Try adding the following whole foods to increase fiber in your diet:
1. Psyllium seed
husk, flax seed, and chia seed
3. Vegetables such as
broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, beans, and peas
4. Root vegetables
and tubers such as onions and sweet potatoes
5. Raw nuts and seeds
such as Almonds and pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
6. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and swiss chard.