We hear a lot about fiber these days. Cereals claiming to have more fiber than other brands, supplements you can take to add fiber to your diet and so on. Before you go out and buy the latest product boasting the best way to get your daily fiber requirement, do you even know why fiber is important for your body??
Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble and both forms are beneficial for you. Fiber helps to:
- Increase food volume without increasing calories (makes you feel “full” longer).
- Delay the absorption of glucose during the digestion process, which keeps blood sugar levels even.
- Lower total and LDL cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Speed the passage of food through the digestive system (keeps us “regular”).
Fiber is found in plants, which is one more reason to make sure your diet is rich in fruit and vegetables! And, while you can get your fiber by drinking a fiber supplement, I find it much more pleasurable to eat a variety of delicious fruit and veggies that will provide the same beneficial health results. Fruits & Veggies–More Matters has created a list of the “Best of” fiber produce for you. In order to make the “high in fiber” list, fruit and vegetables must contain 5 grams or more (20% or more of the Daily Value per reference amount). Among this list, you’ll find many varieties of beans and apples–a snack favorite! The “good in fiber” list fruit and vegetables must contain 2.5 grams or more (10-19% of the Daily Value per reference amount). Bananas, broccoli, green beans and oranges are just a few fruit and veggies that made this list. When you think about the variety of produce that are plentiful in fiber, adding in whole grain breads and nuts for snacking, (also great sources) and it’s not hard to reach your daily requirement.
I’ve pulled a quick, easy, and flavorful, light meal from Fruits & Veggies–More Matters. This Veggie Bean Wrap Around is great as a hearty lunch or a light dinner paired with a cup of soup or a side salad. It’s got 12 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of protein and comes in at under 400 calories.
Try experimenting with fruit and vegetables for your fiber needs, I think you’ll find you’ll never go back to the supplement form again.