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What’s Fiber Good For Anyway?

High Fiber FoodsThe FDA recommended daily Fiber intake for adults range from 20-35 grams, per day. Most people do not even come close to this amount.  Without adequate amounts of Fiber, you are more susceptible to a plethora of issues ranging from, constipation, increased risk of diabetes, hormonal imbalances from excess estrogen being reabsorbed by the body, improper detoxification leading to more stress on the liver, toxins being reabsorbed by the body, intestinal inflammation, bacterial overgrowth, weight gain, fatigue and skin issues. Ideally, the foods we eat should provide a great deal of fiber, however, that just isn’t the case anymore. As our lives demand more from us, we have less time for making sure we are getting the proper nutrients we need and many processed foods are void of fiber and nutrients. Focus on unprocessed protein sources, good fats, whole foods, fruits, and veggies. Avoid refined sugars, flours, fast food, and highly processed food in packages.  Just to give you an idea of which foods contain fiber, here is a list of some foods we have chosen.

Fiber-Rich Foods

2 Tablespoons of whole flax seeds: 4 grams
2/3 Cup green peas: 4 grams
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter: 3 grams
1 Tablespoon Chia seeds: 5 grams
1/4 Cup quinoa: 3 grams
1 Medium whole avocado:10 grams
2 Teaspoons of Psyllium husk powder: 6 grams 
1 Medium apple: 4.4 grams
1 Medium artichoke:10 grams
1 Cup raspberries: 7 grams
1 Cup, cooked, Lentils:15 grams

2 Types of Fiber

All fiber is not created equal, although they are both, quite important.  Insoluble fiber is not digested by the body but is necessary for the proper functioning of the intestinal tract. This is often referred to as roughage and is found in plant fibers, cellulose, seeds, skin from fruits and brown rice. This makes stool softer and speeds up transit time.  Insoluble fiber holds water and helps move along intestinal waste all while reducing the risk of colon cancer.  With soluble fiber, it acts like a sponge and absorbs water, expanding and helping with the bulking process.  It makes it easier to eliminate with a fuller movement, which also aids in eliminating toxins from the body. One more benefit from soluble is that it forms a gel in the gut which slows down the absorption of sugar and cholesterol.

High Fiber Low Carb Foods

Supplementing with Fiber

If you feel like it’s almost impossible to meet your daily intake of fiber, you are not alone.

This is why there are fiber supplements that you can eat, chew, drink or swallow as a capsule, and even bake and cook, that will help you reach your fiber goals. When choosing a fiber supplement, make sure you are getting good quality ingredients from a professional brand. Also, look for something that you know you will take. I have seen many abandoned fiber bottles in cabinets because the taste is too horrific to handle. Decide which form of fiber you are most comfortable with: capsules, tablets, powders, gels or chewables. Fortunately, there are many advances in the fiber world these days and fiber now comes in other forms, from noodles, tasty smoothies, shakes, and even some low carb breads.

A good blend should contain both soluble and insoluble sources of fiber.

You should get most of your fiber from the foods you eat and supplementing when needed.