Fiber Facts: Benefits & Sources
Fiber can be so underrated & understated, but it’s super important & beneficial for our health in tons of ways.
Studies show that the average American consumes 15g fiber per day. The RECOMMENDED daily consumption of fiber is 25-30g. I personally aim for closer to 40g per day…keeps my digestion on track & gives me all the good, healthy movements in my system, if ya know what I mean.
So, what is fiber?
Fiber is the indigestible part of a carbohydrate—which means it’s only found in foods that contain carbs…oh look, yet another reason to eat your healthy, complex carbs!
Okay, so now that we know that fiber is found in carbohydrates, our intentions should be to get enough fiber without totally overdoing it on the carbs. Which means—we need to aim for high fiber carbohydrates vs carb-dense foods that contain very little to no fiber…AKA choose whole grain/wheat vs. white…whole grain bread vs white bread).
This can be confusing, but a great guideline to try to follow is to choose whole foods & less processed ones as often as possible—a sure-fire way to get more fiber into your diet!
Last little thing on fiber—then we’ll get into the benefits & which foods contain the highest amounts of fiber for the best nutritional value—is solublefiber.
You might notice this on food labels…soluble vs insoluble fiber.
You also might be thinking, wtf does that mean. No worries, you’re not alone. Most don’t know wtf it is.
Fiber that is soluble means that it holds on to water in your stomach. So in order to combat that ‘water hold’, you have to up your water intake to prevent bloating and constipation. I’m not gonna get into the nitty gritty of soluble vs insoluble…just drink your water, okayyy.
Health benefits of fiber:
Promotes healthy digestion
Helps to regulate bowel movements & prevents constipation
Controls blood sugar, which leads to control over sugar cravings
Lowers risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.
Helps lower cholesterol
Keeps you fuller, which naturally allows you to consume less calories
High fiber foods:
1 medium artichoke=7g fiber.
1 cup brussels sprouts=4g fiber
1 cup raw broccoli=2.5g fiber.
1 cup chopped carrots=3.5g fiber.
1 cup raspberries=8g fiber.
3/4 cup blueberries=5g fiber.
1 cup blackberries=8g fiber.
1 medium apple=4g fiber.
1 medium pear=5g fiber.
1/2 cup cooked lentils=8g fiber.
1/2 cup cooked split peas=8g fiber.
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas=6g fiber.
1/2 cup cooked black beans=7.5g fiber.
1/2 cup boiled lima beans=6.5g fiber.
Grains & seeds:
1/2 cup cooked farro=3.5g fiber.
1/2 cup oats=4g fiber.
1/2 cup cooked quinoa=2.5g fiber.
1 tbsp flaxseed=3g fiber.
1 tbsp chia seeds=5g fiber.
These are all natural, whole food options…which we should totally try to eat most of the time.
But, sometimes, we like to snack. Or we need options that come in a bag or wrapper, or something we can pick up quick at a convenient store.
My favorite, convenient snacks that are high in fiber are:
-Nocow bar. 18g fiber! GLORIOUS.
-Popcorn…but SPECIFICALLY, Lesser Evil Himalayan Pink Salt Organic Popcorn. 5g fiber per serving. (Literally the best popcorn on this earth…AND, it’s healthy & made using very few ingredients that are all organic. If you’ve never tried it before, go try it & you can thank me later.
-Dried mango. I love dried fruit, especially mango…but it has to be natural & the only ingredient should be mango. No added sugars or other crap. 2g fiber per serving.
I hope this brought you some insight on all things fiber & that you can use this post as a reference for your next grocery haul!