Step away form the bran muffin and put down that bowl of cardboard. You don’t have to eat things devoid of flavor in-order to get fiber in your diet. There are plenty of delicious (non-processed) foods that you can incorporate into your diet to get the dietary fiber you need. Before we tell you what those foods are, we’ll tell you why you need fiber in the first place.
Why you need fiber
Dietary fiber is known as “roughage” for your digestive system. It’s what helps clean out your intestines and colon and keeps the food passing through them as an efficient processing system. In the most basic explanation it is all materials in plant foods that your body cannot digest.
There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and non-soluble. Soluble fiber can be dissolved in water and non-soluble cannot. Soluble fiber breaks down into a gel and is said to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Non-soluble fiber moves through your digestive system and adds bulk to your stool – which helps you become more regular.
Fiber doesn’t just help keep your bowl movements regular, it helps lower your cholesterol level, controls blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of sugar, and helps you achieve a healthy weight by making you feel full quicker and longer.
Foods with lots of fiber
Dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. There are so many great fruits and veggies to use without having to choke down a bran muffin to get the fiber you need. Here are some great sources of fiber to incorporate into your daily meals.
- Green peas
- Winter squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Beans (black, pinto, navy, garbanzo, kidney…)
To find out how much dietary fiber you need in your diet, consult your physician.