Getting to know your FIBER

Fiber

 

The road to health is paved with good intestines. Eating a diet rich in fiber helps to feed the good microbiota as those friendly-bacteria feast on the fermentable fibers. A diet rich in fiber also maintains healthy blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. So what is FIBER?

Fiber is a plant-based nutrient that cannot be digested or absorbed in the gut. Therefore, fiber passes through the gut optimizing digestion and regularity, removing toxins, maintaining healthy weight levels, and reducing cholesterol. 

There are two different types of fiber: Soluble and Insoluble Fiber. 

Soluble fiber dissolves in water allowing it to absorb excess liquid in the colon, creating a thick gel  and bulk as it passes through the gut. 

Soluble fiber comes in fruits + vegetables like:

Avocados, sweet potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, pears, collard greens, carrots, mango, peas, apples, banana, beets, okra, potato, grapefruit, brussels sprouts, and peaches.

and... legumes, grains, nuts + seeds

Black beans, lima beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, hazelnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, barley, oat bran

Insoluble Fiber

This fiber is found in the rough skin of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and the bran portion of whole grains. It comes any plant food that is rough, stringy, has a hull, peel, pod, or seeds and it adds bulk to clean the colon and regulate bowel movements.

Insoluble fiber promotes fullness and moves through the gut to remove waste and toxins. This fiber is best in preventing constipation.

We're looking at... Whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, berries, pineapple, apple skin, cauliflower, sprouts, cucumbers, dates, prunes, melons, green beans, granola, cabbage, bok choy, leafy greens, onions, fresh herbs, broccoli, and eggplant.

In general, you will want to drink adequate amounts of water daily to help fiber pass through the colon smoothly.

If constipation is health challenge that you struggle with most, follow these tips:

  • Optimal grams of fiber per day: 40g
  • Make sure your mineral intake is sufficient. You may have to increase your sodium intake, especially during the first few days. Also, try 400 mg of magnesium citrate - it helps with constipation.
  • Eat good fats: Seeds, avocados, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil to improve digestion and reduce intestinal inflammation.
  • Make sure you don’t eat too much protein.
  • Get a fiber-supplement like psyllium husk, only if needed.
  • Be more active, go for a 30 minute moderate brisk walking.