Fiber is a nutrient you might not spend too much time thinking about. However, like many other vitamins and minerals, it’s vital to good overall health. When you don’t get enough fiber, your body could pay the price. There are many reasons why you should examine your fiber intake and make adjustments as necessary. Here’s everything you need to know about fiber. Talk to your doctor if you need more assistance tweaking your intake.
1. Daily Intake Recommendations for Women
The amount of fiber you need may vary a bit from your sister or best friend, but the general guidelines are similar. The average woman should get about 25 grams of fiber on a daily basis. Many people don’t get enough fiber, which can be detrimental to your health. Read nutrition labels to get a sense of how much fiber you’re consuming so that you know if you need more or less.
2. Fiber for Digestion
One of the great things about fiber is that normalizes your digestion and keeps bowel movements healthy and normal. Fiber helps keep stools soft so they can pass through easily, preventing constipation and other dietary disturbances. Keep in mind that if you eat too much extra fiber all at one time, you could have the opposite issue and you don’t want to deal with that.
3. Control Your Cholesterol with Fiber
Another great thing about fiber is that it can help regulate your cholesterol. As it passes through your system it takes excess cholesterol with it, helping keep your levels low and normal. This is important because high cholesterol levels can lead to heart disease, which happens to be the number one killer of women. If you worry that you have high cholesterol, a simple blood test can tell you if you need to get things under control.
4. Lose Some Weight with Extra Fiber
Here’s one of the best things about fiber. It bulks up in your digestive tract, helping satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full for longer. Eating high fiber foods can help you resist between meal snacking, which naturally cuts calorie intake, thereby helping you shed some pounds. Many high-fiber foods are also healthy ones so this is great news for anyone looking to bring the number on the scale down a little bit.
5. Regulate Blood Sugar with Fiber
If you have diabetes, fiber can save your life. It helps slow sugar absorption in your gut, which can keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range. For people who don’t have diabetes, a diet rich in fiber can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. If you’re at risk, talk to your doctor about beefing up your fiber intake.
6. What Foods to Start Eating
There are lots of healthy options when it comes to high-fiber foods. By adding them to your meal plan, it’s virtually effortless to get more fiber into your diet. Your best options are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. All of these foods are also pretty tasty so it shouldn’t be too hard to eat more of them.
7. How to Increase Fiber Intake
There are some really easy ways to eat more fiber. Experts suggest starting your day with a high-fiber meal to get you going. You might also make the switch from refined grains to whole grains. You can find delicious whole grain breads, pastas, cereals and crackers. Add fruits and vegetables to each meal and snack on popcorn, trail mix and dried fruit.
What did you learn about fiber from reading this? How will you start eating more fiber today?