You’ve probably heard that fiber is good for you. It’s common to see advertisement about the fiber content of certain foods. At the store we can spot products that are “good sources of fiber”, but do you know why is important to have a fiber-rich diet? Let’s talk about what is the big deal with fiber. Then, I’m going to give you some easy ways to incorporate more fiber in your diet.
What is fiber?
Fiber is the part of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, fiber isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body. There are many benefits of eating fiber, let’s talk about some of them.
Benefits of fiber
A fiber rich diet has many benefits. It not only aids in our efforts to lose weight but it can also prevent diabetes and certain types of cancer. Fiber slows down the rate that sugar is absorbed by your body. This avoids a spike in glucose levels. One of the effects of glucose levels being high and falling rapidly is that you will get hungry quicker, which leads to overeating. Therefore, fiber is a helper in keeping us from over eating.
Another good aspect of fiber is that it’s typically low calorie. Thus, you can eat more of it without increasing your caloric intake. Since fiber is not digested by our bodies, it acts like a brush that cleans up bacteria and other build up in the intestines. This helps you stay regular in your bowel movements because fiber makes your stool bulky and softer. Soft, bulky stool passes easily though your intestines.
How to add more fiber to your diet
All of us need to make a conscious effort to add more fiber to our diets. This is easy to achieve if we focus on whole food that are not overly processed. Check the labels of the products you buy, choose items with 3 grams of fiber or more per serving. Avoid ultra-processed food like white breads and pastas, canned fruit or pulp-free juices. Brown rice is a better option than white rice because it hasn’t been processed to remove the husk, which is the fiber part. Try adding fresh fruit and veggies to your snacks. Beans, peas and lentils are excellent sources of fiber. Adding kidney beans to your meals will give you extra fiber and protein.
Whether you are looking to lose weight or just trying to stay healthy, increasing your fiber intake will help you in your goals. If you want more tips on how to add fiber to your diet or different sources of fiber, ask any of the coaches at Celebration CrossFit. We are happy to help.
By coach Keren