Did you know that most Americans do not eat the Daily Recommended Intake of fiber? What does that mean? What does fiber do to my body? How much fiber should I be eating? I am here to explain the basics of fiber to help you add more into your diet!
Fiber is the non-digestible form of carbohydrate that helps regulate gastrointestinal function. Consuming foods high in fiber makes you feel fuller longer after eating. Fiber helps reduce the risk of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and colorectal cancer. Proper intake of fiber also assists in weight management and helps regulate blood sugar. There are so many health benefits of adequate amount of fiber in a healthy diet, yet most people are not getting enough in their diets.
The Daily Recommended Intake of fiber for women is 25 grams per day, and 38 grams per day for men. An easy way to make sure that you are getting enough fiber in your diet is to eat three servings of whole grains and five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. If you think that you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet, make sure to add it into your diet slowly. Adding too much fiber too fast will cause gastrointestinal distress. I would suggest adding a fiber rich food every few days to let your body adjust to the increase in fiber.
Here are some common foods that are a great source of fiber, remember to aim for 25-38 grams:
- One slice of whole wheat bread has 3 grams of fiber
- In a serving of oatmeal there is 4 grams of fiber
- A serving of mixed nuts contains 2 grams of fiber
- There is almost 4 grams of fiber in a serving of broccoli
- There is 3.5 grams of fiber in brown rice
- There are 3 grams of fiber in a banana
- Beans are a great source of fiber with 9-19 grams of fiber in one cup!
- 1 cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber
- 1 cup of strawberries has 3 grams of fiber, while 1 cup of blueberries has 4 grams of fiber
- In 2 tbsp of chia seeds, there is 8 grams of fiber
There are more foods available that contain high amounts of fiber, the ones I listed above are just some examples. A well rounded diet includes adequate amounts of fiber, so be aware of how much you are consuming to make sure you are as healthy as can be!