Fiber is a nutritional element derived completely from plants. Although it cannot broken down by the body to provide energy, fiber provides a number of health benefits.
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol and glucose levels, thereby supporting a healthy weight and improving mood and energy levels. Insoluble fiber aids in digestive heath by supporting the removal of waste.
The recommended minimum consumption is 25 grams of fiber per day for maximum benefit. There are several signs that may indicate a shortage of fiber in the diet: bloating and constipation, a cycle of sugar highs and crashes, hunger after finishing a meal, and weight gain. Since the body takes longer to break down fiber, adequate consumption helps curb cravings and increases satiety.
High fiber foods should be added to the diet to promote digestive health. Fruits high in fiber include avocado, berries (notably raspberries and blackberries), guava and persimmons. Vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber, especially artichokes, parsnips, peas, broccoli, and corn. Nuts and seeds are particularly high in fiber. Chia, sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seeds contain 12 to 34 grams of fiber per 100 gram serving. Quinoa and beans also provide considerable fiber.
Hunger after eating, weight-gain, bloat, sugar spikes—could indicate fiber-deficiency. #HealthStatus
- 1Bloat and constipation are body signals that you may need to significantly up your fiber intake.
- 2Fibrous foods help the body deal with carbs, slowing down the release of sugar and thereby avoiding sugar spikes and crashes.
- 3Fiber is a plant-derived complex carbohydrate that is not broken down for caloric energy, but instead provides the critical function of aiding in the removal of bodily waste.