In Health, Nutrition

As a nutrition professional, I am finding more and more reasons to educate clients on the importance of a fiber-rich diet. With nearly 40% of Americans failing to eat enough fiber in their daily diet and only 5% meeting the Institute of Medicine’s recommended targets for men and women, there seems to be an ongoing and serious deficiency in this superfood. I am not sure if there is a lack of education and knowledge on why we need to meet a daily fiber intake, or maybe it is a complete disregard for its importance. The bottom line is that fiber packs many health benefits and shouldn’t be ignored as an unimportant or untracked nutrient.

WHAT IS FIBER?

  • Fiber is classified as soluble (dissolvable) and insoluble (undissolvable)
  • Found in many food sources
  • Undigestable and unabsorbable
  • Fiber travels through the stomach then into the small intestine and colon

BENEFITS OF A FIBER-RICH DIET

Did you know that fiber carries tons of benefits?

  • Normalizes bowel movements
  • Promotes bowel and GI health
  • Improves immune function
  • Reduces the risk of colitis and hemorrhoids
  • Controls acidity (pH) levels in the intestines
  • Protects against heart-related disease
  • Reduces cholesterol levels
  • Controls blood sugar levels, and slows the absorption of sugars
  • Helps in reaching a healthy weight
  • Promotes longevity and total body wellness

RECOMMENDED FIBER INTAKES

Men (50 years or younger) = 38 grans

Men (51 years or older) = 30 grams

Women (50 years or younger) = 25 grams

Women (51 years or older) = 21 grams

FIBER-RICH SOURCES

Adding soluble fiber is easy, start by incorporating…

      • kidney beans
      • pinto beans
      • brussel sprouts
      • peas
      • carrots
      • barley
      • broccoli
      • spinach
      • zucchini
      • apples
      • oranges
      • grapefruit
      • grapes 
      • prunes
      • Oatmeal

And adding insoluble fiber is just as simple by having…

      • vegetables –> dark green leafy ones are very rich 
      • root vegetable skins
      • fruit skins
      • cauliflower 
      • green beans
      • potatoes
      • whole-wheat sources
      • wheat bran
      • corn bran
      • nuts
      • Seeds

QUICK TIPS FOR MEETING YOUR DAILY FIBER INTAKE

  1. Work on starting your day off with a high-fiber breakfast cereal
  2. Make sure you are eating your fruits and your veggies
  3. Opt for whole grains
  4. Use more legumes in your cooking
  5. Focus on snacking from a healthier, fiber-rich perspective

Interested in learning more? Click here to check out the 2017 American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine publication, Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap

Aubree “Aubs” Shofner
Nutrition Professional
ashofner.balancedhabits@gmail.com
Balanced Body Foods

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