When it comes to maintaining good health, it all boils down to finding a balance between eating the right foods to receive the various nutrients and vitamins your body needs and remaining active to help the body naturally rid itself of the unnecessary toxins and buildup. If you’ve ever researched how to get rid of tummy fat or to improve irregularity, chances are you’ve come across several health experts who recommend that you increase your fiber intake. While fiber can be great for weight loss and improved digestive health, there is a lot more to this powerful nutrient than meets the eye.
Understanding How Fiber Works
The recommended fiber intake is about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories you consume. This would make an average of about 25-30 grams of fiber per day. There are essentially two types of fiber and both are important to improving your health and digestion.
Soluble fiber that is often found in things like nuts, blueberries, cucumbers, and beans helps to slow the digestive system. This is essentially what helps the body to feel full.
Insoluble fiber on the other hand which can be found in things like green beans, celery, carrots, and dark green vegetables helps the food to move easily through your digestive track.
What Are the Benefits?
Now that you have a common understanding of how fiber works, let’s go over how this improves your health overall:
• Helps Regulate Blood Sugar – fiber can be a great addition to the diet for diabetics. Since soluble fiber helps to slow the digestive system it can also slow the breaking down of carbs and sugar absorption.
• Improves Weight Loss Efforts – as you’re probably aware, increasing your fiber intake can help you to lose weight. As soluble fiber helps you feel fuller longer, it can act as a natural appetite suppressant. Insoluble fiber on the other hand helps to remove excess waste that could be lingering in the bowels.
• Improves Hemorrhoids – if you’ve been experiencing irregular bowel movements which cause constipation, you may end up with hemorrhoids. Fiber can help keep bowels regular, minimizing the risks of getting hemorrhoids. However, if you experience hemorrhoids quite often, taking all natural hemorrhoids treatment products can also soothe the pain while you focus on changing your diet.
• Reduce Chances of Kidney or Gallstones – A diet high in fiber can help to reduce your risks of getting kidney stones or gallstones which can be very painful to deal with.
Adding Fiber to Your Diet
As stated previously, the average person does not consume enough fiber in their daily diet. Now that you see how beneficial it can be, it is important to find simplistic ways to add it to your daily diet.
Here are some quick tips on how to accomplish this:
There’s this misconception that fiber is only found in whole grain products. Eating whole wheat bread on the regular basis can get rather boring. Instead, try mixing things up by incorporating whole grain products, fruits, and green leafy vegetables to get your daily intake of soluble and insoluble fiber.
2. Eat a Bowl of Cereal
Start choosing cereals that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Eat a small bowl and add some fiber filled fruit like blueberries. This is a quick breakfast or snack idea that tastes great.
3. Pack Fiber Rich Snacks
Instead of heading for the vending machine in the office, start packing your own snacks. Packing things like whole grain crackers, mixed nuts, whole grain popcorn, granola bars, or fresh fruit can help you to get the daily fiber intake you need.
4. Add Fruit to Your Meals
Adding fresh fruit to your salads, cereals, and snacks can be a great way to increase your daily fiber intake without it feeling like a chore.
5. Add it to a Smoothie
If you’re not really big on any of the above suggestions another great way to add more fiber to your diet is to add it to a smoothie. Incorporating fruits and veggies high in fiber and mixing them into a drink can be a pain free way to get more of your daily dose.
Important Health Tip: Of course too much of anything is not going to be good for you so watch how much fiber you consume on the daily basis. Also make sure that you’re drinking the required amount of water on the daily basis as too much fiber can actually cause digestive issues (constipation in particular).
As with any lifestyle change it will take time. Making a dietary change in an instant can actually do more harm than good so pace yourself accordingly. Take these tips and begin to slowly incorporate more fiber into your diet. With time, you should find that you start to feel a lot better (and a lot lighter).
How do you make sure to include enough fiber in your diet?
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