Those in the know about dietary rights and wrongs have been advocating fiber as a food essential for a long time. Not only does eating fiber improve your gut health, but it also keeps you fuller for longer and helps you to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Despite this, many people are unaware of all the sources of fiber that you can include in your diet without making your daily meals feel tasteless and drab. Here are a few food options that you can try out to include a healthy amount of fiber in your diet.
The difference between soluble and insoluble fibers
Soluble fibers are digested and help with heart health, cholesterol and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. In contrast. The body does not digest insoluble fibers and helps your intestines to move food more quickly and easily through your intestinal tract. Soluble fibers are mostly found in legumes and fruits while insoluble fibers are mainly found in whole grains and vegetables. Let’s look at the different sources of fiber.
The first thing that you want to do is to include foods with lots of soluble fiber in your diet. Soluble fibers are digested and help with heart health, maintains healthy levels of cholesterol and blood sugar. Great examples of foods with soluble fibers are peas, beans, oats, and fruits. Beans are especially fiber-rich. You’ll want to look at including split peas, lentils, black beans, lima beans and peas into your diet. These might sound unappetizing, but there are loads of recipes that includes peas and beans like these lentil and black bean burgers that will tantalize your taste buds.
Fruits are also rich in soluble fibers and can be a healthy snack choice. Consider fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, apples, and pears which are especially high in fiber. Also, consider dried fruits as a convenient and fiber rich snack. Dried fruits are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, so you’ll not only get the benefits of soluble fibers, but you’ll also get the good gut health benefits of soluble fibers.
Whole grains and vegetables are excellent sources of insoluble fibers. You’ve probably heard the adage that you have to stay away from refined grains and stick to whole grains instead. Eating whole grains is especially important when it comes to gut health. Whole grains in the form of snack bars are great snacks that ensure great gut health. Kick start your morning with a bowl of high fiber cereals and some fruits for good measure. Alternatively, you can make a smoothie filled with delicious bran flakes and fruit filled with fiber. For lunch, you can eat whole wheat pasta. Use pearl barley instead of rice or use it to add fiber to soups and salads.
Two great vegetables that are filled to the brim with fiber are broccoli and artichoke. These might not be the most popular of vegetables, but there are many delicious recipes. Avocados are a fabulous source of fiber along with healthy fats and other essential nutrients. Squashes such as pumpkin, butternut squash, and acorn squash are also packed with nutrients and fibers. Surprisingly, turnips have a high level of fiber as well and can you can use them in many delicious recipes.
Nuts and seeds
There are several types of nuts and seeds that you can also include in your diet to enrich it with fiber. Walnuts are especially high in fiber and important nutrients. A tablespoon of flax seeds can also improve the amount of dietary fiber that you consume. You can add ground flaxseeds to salads, smoothies, and even soups.
One of the important factors to consider when sticking to a high fiber diet is to stay hydrated. If you’re dehydrated, fiber can make you more constipated. So drink your eight glasses of water per day to get the full benefit of a fiber rich diet.
Remember, it’s always important to consult a doctor before starting a new diet. Speak to a professional gastrointestinal doctor or a dietician for advice on how to incorporate fiber into your diet for your particular situation.