Want to make healthier choices and don’t know where to start. Calorie counting, macro-tracking, food weighing seem over-whelming. Your first step to better health can be as easy as increasing your fiber intake. Most people fall short of the goal of 25-35grams a day. Why, because we grab easy, high carb, low fiber, pre-packaged foods. The result, our digestive system is not running at it’s best, we are not absorbing all the nutrients we need and we have difficultly eliminating the things are body does not need. All that can lead to bloating, feeling run down, lack of mental clarity and just not performing at our best.
How does increasing fiber help all this? Whole foods, foods closer to their natural form, are higher in fiber. By swapping processed foods for nutrient dense foods, you will begin to heal your gut, increase your energy and help control weight management.
9 Health Benefits of Fiber
•Blood sugar control: Soluble fiber may help to slow your body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, helping with blood sugar control.
•Heart health: An inverse association has been found between fiber intake and heart attack, and research shows that those eating a high-fiber diet have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease.
•Stroke: Researchers have found that for every seven-grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by 7 percent
•Weight loss and management: Fiber supplements have been shown to enhance weight loss among obese people, likely because fiber increases feelings of fullness.
•Skin health: Fiber, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.
•Diverticulitis: Dietary fiber (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of polyps in your intestine – by 40 percent.
•Hemorrhoids: A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of hemorrhoids.
•Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Fiber may provide some relief from IBS.
•Gallstones and kidney stones: A high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.
Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans. Swap “white sugar, white flour” for more nutrient dense options. Read fiber labels on packaged breads and pastas. Look for 100% whole grain (not whole wheat flour) and a fiber content of 3-7 grams. Trade white pasta for bean pastas. White rice for brown, quinoa or buckwheat. Trade packaged cookies for fruit or homemade whole grain oatmeal & chia seed cookies. Have fun and enjoy finding new favorite foods and recipes.
Want up your gut health even more, add pre and probiotic foods to you menu. They help good bacteria grow in your intestine, increasing your health benefits even more.