We are fans of fiber, not only for the obvious reasons of digestion and regularity, but also for the numerous other health benefits that fiber delivers. The recommended daily intake of fiber in the U.S. for a healthy adult is between 20 and 30 grams, and nutritionists recommend that you get even more. However, most Americans struggle to even reach 50 percent of the minimum guidelines.
Before we tell you why fiber is amazing, let’s start with the basics of fiber. There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both are extremely important components to your diet and many fiber-containing foods offer a combination of both soluble and insoluble fibers.
Soluble Fiber attracts and dissolves in water, forming a gel-type substance. This slows digestion, which is believed to support heart health and healthy blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Insoluble Fiber bulks up your stool so that it makes it easier to pass through your digestive system. This is the type of fiber you want if you struggle with constipation or irregularity.
Now that we understand the two types of fiber, let’s discuss why fiber is so important! Here are the top 4 reasons you need more fiber in your diet:
1. Healthy Digestion. We touched on this slightly above, but needed to elaborate more because it’s so important. Our gut health is where overall wellness begins. Everything from our skin appearance to our mental health is believed be effected by the health of our gastrointestinal tract (gut). Increasing your intake of fiber will support healthy digestion and regularity, and your entire body will thank you for it.
2. Heart Health. Research has shown that those consuming a high-fiber diet have a 40 percent less risk of experiencing a heart attack that those who do not have a high-fiber diet. That statistic alone is a pretty compelling reason to turn up your fiber consumption!
3. Weight Management. Fiber literally fills you up, which makes you feel fuller and makes you want to eat less. Just think about the last time you had a high-fiber meal like a bean soup or even a large green salad – were you hungry afterward? Probably not so much.
4. Skin Health. Fiber acts as a natural detoxifier, sweeping toxins out of our gut and right into the toilet. This can help steer the toxins from appearing on your skin in the form of acne.
Now that you’re convinced of the fabulous wealth of health that is fiber, it’s time to start adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet. The best place to start is with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods like oats, and even nuts and seeds. The theme here is to avoid highly-processed foods and stick to a “clean” diet (you can read more about clean eating here).
Our Organic Digest also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber from plant-based sources like Jerusalem artichoke, chia seed and oat fiber. Organic Digest is so easy to add to your daily routine, simply toss into a smoothie, and when you’re short on time, try just stirring it into oats or yogurt. It blends seamlessly into just about anything!
What are your favorite high-fiber foods or recipes?