I recently wrote about about good sources of healthy fats and proteins and why we need to add more of them in our diet. I wanted to continue that discussion by talking about fiber and why the standard american diet is severely lacking in it which can lead to multiple conditions like IBS, leaky gut, constipation, skin issues and more.
Most of us know that fiber keeps us regular, but there’s so much more that fiber does for us. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar in our bloodstream which helps avoid blood sugar spikes. It helps us to feel fuller longer so we don’t overeat. There are some fiber-rich plants that are prebiotics which helps maintain and feed the healthy bacteria in our gut. It is important for detoxification, keeping mood and energy levels stable and helps stop cravings.
So what are some good sources of fiber?
Greens and veggies- my favorite! Greens are not only fiber rich but they have tons of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants to keep us healthy. A green smoothie or green juice a day can really benefit your health. Visit the recipe page to see some ideas for getting more greens in your diet.
Flax and chia seeds- in my previous post about healthy fats I mention flax and chia seeds as good sources of omega 3’s. But they are also fantastic for adding more fiber to your diet. Sprinkle some on your salads or blend some into your smoothie for a fiber boost.
Nut butters- nuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats and fiber. Add them to your smoothies to make them creamier and more filling or have some on an apple or celery or carrot sticks for a great afternoon snack.
Beans- beans are packed full of protein and fiber. Black beans, chickpea, lima beans, peas and lentils are some of the highest fiber choices. Just make sure you increase your water intake when you eat them to help flush toxins and reduce gas and bloating that some experience when eating beans.
Fruit- avocados, berries, coconut and figs are some of the higher fiber fruits you can eat. Have them as a snack with some nuts or add them to your smoothies for a healthy treat.
Fiber powders- these are usually premixed blends of plant based fiber and usually contain flax or chia seeds. I usually recommend people stay away from psyllium husk since some can have an allergy to it. The powders are an easy way to get a concentrated dose of fiber (either in powder or capsule form) for the times you really need it, but it’s not a replacement for eating a healthy, high fiber diet of veggies and green drinks.
Eating whole, fresh foods are always your best bet for making sure you’re getting adequate amounts of fiber to keep your body healthy and functioning properly. The more colorful your plate, the better you will feel!