Everyone is concerned about getting enough protein and healthy fats that fiber often pales in comparison. However, it’s time that it gets the attention it richly deserves. Fiber-rich foods are essential because they’re a type of carb that your body cannot digest, so it doesn’t turn to sugar.
Instead, it goes through the digestion process and aids in gut health. Your body cannot digest this complex carb, so its only benefit is to provide pure nutrition to your system. If you don’t have regular bowel movements, your doctor will tell you to increase your fiber intake.
However, these foods have many other benefits than just helping your gut. They can improve your blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and help to keep heart disease at bay. If your body doesn’t get the fiber content it needs, you can have constipation and nutritional deficiencies.
You can find fiber in many foods at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, but you need to ensure you’re getting the right kind. First, there’s soluble fiber. This type is the kind you dissolve in water and drink.
It helps you slow down the digestive process and assists in getting rid of the bad cholesterol in your body. Insoluble fiber is the one that keeps things flowing nicely through your colon and bowels. It gives some bulk to your stools and helps them exit the body quickly.
Are You Getting Enough Fiber?
Many folks don’t know how much fiber they need, and you must be careful because too much can pack on the pounds. This is especially true if you’re consuming wheat bread to get your fiber intake. According to Web MD, women need around 25 grams of fiber each day, while men need 38.
It’s alarming to consider that only around five percent of the people in this country are getting enough fiber-rich foods in their diet. People here are more concerned with eating tacos, burgers, or fries rather than fueling their system with what it needs. If you’re relying on packaged foods to get your proper intake, then you will fall short every time.
It concerns since processed foods are higher in fat, sugar, calories, sodium and have a relatively low fiber content. So, if you’re hoping your processed foods and the local eatery is giving you what you need, you’re not going to have sufficient amounts of fiber for good gut health.
Fiber-rich Foods to Improve Gut Health
It’s not difficult to add more fiber to your diet, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy health foods either. You can alter your eating habits to include fiber-rich foods with both soluble and insoluble types. As you start this journey on becoming a healthier you with improved gut health, you need to remember to go slow.
It can upset your digestive system if you add too much fiber in too quickly. Some might say it will backfire. You should start with 1-2 servings a day, or you can experience painful gas, diarrhea, or even constipation.
Here are twenty foods you can add to your shopping list that taste great and give you the fiber content you need.
Strawberries are undoubtedly delicious, and with a fiber content of around three grams per cup, it’s an excellent option. You can eat them raw or include them in a delicious fruit smoothie. You can’t forget that they’re also packed with vitamins and give you a boost of necessary vitamin C.
Artichokes are an acquired taste, but they can easily be added to a sandwich or made into a dip. Just half a cup of this vegetable will give you five grams of fiber. Vegetables are great for having hidden fiber that’s so beneficial to you.
3. Ground Flax Seeds
Make sure you get ground flax as you won’t get the benefits from whole seeds, as your body can’t digest it. You can add these tiny seeds to your yogurt, cereal, or even a salad. You will get one gram of fiber per tablespoon.
There are many apples, but they generally have around the same fiber content. Apples are so versatile that you can do almost anything with them, including eating them with some healthy, natural peanut butter. You will get five grams of fiber just by consuming one large apple.
One cannot mention fiber-rich foods without talking about quinoa. It’s an excellent substitute for rice, and it goes well with soups or in a stir fry. It has around five grams of fiber per cup.
Barley is undoubtedly one of the best fiber-rich foods, with almost six grams per cup. Use it instead of rice, and you will stay satisfied longer and have better gut health.
7. Chia Seeds
When it comes to fiber-rich foods, the chia seed reigns supreme. They have around ten grams for two tablespoons. They will help balance your blood sugar as well as fill you up. Plus, they’re so small and have little to no taste that you can add them to anything.
8. Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo beans are another food that you need to add to your diet. They often don’t get the credit they deserve. They have nine grams of fiber per cup, and they taste fantastic in just about any dish you desire.
Oats are one of the most versatile foods around. You can make delicious muffins or eat them in a bowl with cinnamon and pecans.
One surprising fact about this whole grain is that it has both fiber types. Another good point is that you will get four grams of fiber in a half cup of oats.
10. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter goes great with anything. With over one gram of fiber per tablespoon, it makes it a good option. You can have a peanut butter sandwich, eat it with an apple, or whip up some healthy cookies. Just make sure you choose an all-natural or no-sugar-added variety.
11. Collard Greens
Add some collard greens to your sandwich wrap or as a side with your favorite meal. It’s a wise investment in your gut health with a fiber content of nearly six grams per cup.
12. Green Peas
Peas have around nine grams of fiber per cup, and they can be made into a soup, added to a salad, or served by themselves. Be careful, though, because this one does have a higher sugar content than most veggies.
13. Turnip Greens
Okay, they’re not as popular as some greens, but they’re a good choice. They have five grams of fiber per cup, and they do have a flavorful taste that you need to try.
Pears may shock you with seven grams of fiber for each one, but they’re a delicious way to obtain better gut health. Think of all the fantastic things you can do with pears.